Shingles is a viral infection caused by a reactivation of the Chicken Pox virus. It can cause a painful blistering rash on the side of the face or body that can last 2-3 weeks with severe pain and illness. Other complications can include pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness or swelling on the brain. The risk of getting Shingles increases with age and is higher in people who are immunocompromised.
From 1st November, 2023 the Shingles vaccine is changing from Zostavax to Shingrix® on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and will be available for eligible people free of charge.
A 2 dose course of Shingrix® is available for
- People aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders aged 50 years and over
- Immunocomprimised people aged 18 years and over with specific medical conditions.
Please discuss with your Doctor if you would like to receive the Shingrix® vaccine.
People who have previously received a free Zostavax shingles vaccine will be eligible for a free Shingrix® vaccine 5 years after the date of the Zostavax.
People who have received a private Zostavax vaccine and are eligible for Shingrix®, will be able to have a free Shingrix® vaccine 12 months after the date of the Zostavax. A second dose of Shingrix® is still required to complete the course.
If you are not eligible to receive the free Shingrix® vaccine under the NIP, talk to your Doctor about your needs and whether you can buy it privately on prescription. Prices will vary and should be checked at your local pharmacy.