Shingles vax impaired in depressed elderly

Researchers measured the immune responses to shingles vaccination among 40 participants aged 60 or older with major depression and compared them with 52 control patients matched by age and gender.

Depressed patients not taking SSRIs had lower cell-mediated immunity to the varicella-zoster virus – and were less able to respond to the shingles vaccine – compared with patients who were not depressed or who were depressed but were receiving antidepressants.

Even when the depression symptoms did not improve, treatment with SSRIs boosted cell