updated 5/15/2008 1:04:12 PM ET 2008-05-15T17:04:12

Merck & Co. said Thursday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that adults 60 and over be given the company's shingles vaccine Zostavax.

The CDC's recommendation follows the unanimous recommendation of the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash that strikes roughly one in four adults who have previously had chickenpox. According to Merck, more than 43 million Americans are at risk for shingles. However, according to a 2007 CDC survey, few adults are vaccinated against the disease.

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