A giant managed care company says it will add Zostavax, a vaccine that protects recipients against the chickenpox virus, to its vaccine benefits program.

WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, says it will cover the vaccine for individuals 60 years of age and older whose plans provide vaccine coverage.

The vaccine can keep older individuals from developing a shingle, a painful condition that results from reactivation of the chickenpox virus.

WellPoint says it is adding Zostavax benefits because of an announcement that the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that the Zostavax vaccine be offered to all U.S. residents ages 60 and older.