Ann Dermatol.  2015 Oct;27(5):531-538. 10.5021/ad.2015.27.5.531.

Awareness, Knowledge, and Vaccine Acceptability of Herpes Zoster in Korea: A Multicenter Survey of 607 Patients

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Dermatology, St. Paul's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Dermatology, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Department of Dermatology, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Herpes zoster (HZ) infection can significantly impair the quality of life of the affected individuals, and its treatment imposes a considerable cost burden on the health-care system and on society at large. However, there is little information on the perception of this disease and the acceptability of vaccines in Korea.
The aim of this study is to determine the awareness of HZ and its vaccine, and to identify factors associated with the acceptability of the HZ vaccine among outpatients of dermatology clinics.
A questionnaire-based survey was conducted on 607 outpatients who visited the dermatologic clinics.
The responses of the patients revealed a high awareness of HZ (85.4%) but a relatively low knowledge about HZ and its vaccine (42.3%). The HZ vaccination rate among patients aged > or =50 years was 9%. A history of HZ infection, being older, and greater knowledge about HZ and its vaccine were associated with a higher HZ vaccine acceptability. Of those who had not been vaccinated, 58.3% were interested in receiving the vaccine. The most frequent reason for this interest was "severe sequelae," followed by "knowing someone who has HZ" and "recommendation from a doctor." High cost was the most common reason for unwillingness to receive the vaccination.
Despite a high awareness of HZ, vaccine acceptability was extremely low among this study cohort. Vaccination acceptability would be improved by encouraging doctors to educate elderly patients about the disease and the availability of vaccination, and by the provision of insurance coverage for HZ vaccination.


Awareness; Herpes zoster; Knowledge; Questionnaires; Vaccination
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