Open Access Research article

Compliance with herpes zoster vaccination in young and adult individuals in two regions of Italy

Antonino Parlato1, Vincenzo Romano Spica2, Massimo Ciccozzi3, Francesca Farchi3, Francesca Gallè4, Valeria Di Onofrio4, Elisabetta Franco5 and Giorgio Liguori4*

Author Affiliations

1 Epidemiology and Prevention Departmental Area, Local Health Agency NA2, Via Corrado Alvaro 8, 80074, Pozzuoli (Naples), Italy

2 Department of Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Piazza Lauro de Bosis 3, 00135, Rome, Italy

3 Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy

4 Department of Studies of Institutions and Territorial Systems, University of Naples "Parthenope", Via Medina 40, 80133, Naples, Italy

5 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Via di Tor Vergata 135, 00173, Rome, Italy

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:333  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-333

Published: 12 June 2010



The purpose of this work was to explore the knowledge and acceptance of Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-Herpes Zoster (HZ) vaccination in the general Italian population, where the HZ vaccine has not yet been distributed, using a prevalence study of subjects from two regions in Italy.


A group of 3,173 individuals were interviewed using a questionnaire. The youngest age group (≤ 20 year) was composed of students interviewed at university. The middle age group (21-40 years) and the older age group (≥ 41 years) were interviewed by general practitioners in their office.


In both regions, the majority of subjects had been infected with varicella, and only 165 (5.2%) subjects reported receiving the VZV vaccination. Regarding HZ, 2,749 (86.6%) individuals stated that they knew of the virus and 2,233 (70%) were willing to be vaccinated against HZ. The majority of people willing to be vaccinated were in the middle and older age groups (36.6% and 44.7%, respectively).


Compliance versus vaccination results were satisfactory and probably, with the upcoming availability of the HZ vaccine in Italy, adults will be favourably disposed towards vaccination.