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Is Shingles Vaccine Free For Over 70s

Who Should Not Get Zostavax

The new shingles vaccine giving hope to over-50s | 7NEWS

Some people should not get shingles vaccine :

The Shingles Prevention Study involved individuals age 60 years and older and found that Zostavax significantly reduced disease in this age group. The vaccine is currently recommended for persons 60 years of age and older.

  • A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • A person who has a weakened immune system because of:
  • HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system,
  • treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids,
  • cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy, or
  • cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
  • Women who are or might be pregnant. Women should not become pregnant until at least 4 weeks after getting shingles vaccine.
  • Someone with a minor acute illness, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. But anyone with a moderate or severe acute illness should usually wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3°F or higher.

    This information was taken from the Shingles Vaccine Information Statement dated 10/06/2009.

    Vaccine Effectiveness And Safety

    The vaccine reduces your chance of getting the virus by more than 50%, depending on your age. Vaccine effectiveness is higher among seniors between 65 and 70 years old.

    No vaccine is 100% effective. If you get vaccinated, you may still develop shingles. But the infection would likely be less severe and youd be better protected from complications.

    The vaccine has been licenced by Health Canada, having met all requirements under the Food and Drugs Act.

    Who Can Have The Shingles Vaccination

    Shingles vaccination is available to everyone aged 70 to 79.

    When youre eligible, you can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.

    The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

    Read more about the shingles vaccine side effects.

    Also Check: Can The Shingles Shot Give You Shingles

    Mild Side Effects Of Shingles Vaccine:

    • Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection .

    It is safe to be around infants and young children, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems after you get the shingles vaccine. There is no documentation of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the shingles vaccine .

    Some people who get the shingles vaccine will develop a chickenpox-like rash near the place where they were vaccinated. As a precaution, this rash should be covered until it disappears.

    Like all vaccines, shingles vaccine is being closely monitored for unusual or severe problems by CDC and FDA.

    Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that cant wait, call 9-1-1 or get the person to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.

    Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS website, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

    The shingles vaccine does not contain thimerosal .

    This information was taken directly from the Shingles Vaccine Information Statement dated 10/06/2009.

    For more information on possible side effects from vaccination, visit CDCs Possible Side Effects from Vaccines page.

    How Long Does Shingles Last

    OAPs to get shingles vaccinations

    Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.

    • The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
    • Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
    • A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
    • About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
    • A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.

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    Aged 71 To 79 You Have Until October 31 To Get A Free Shingles Vaccine Or Be Prepared To Pay

    You may feel a bit vaccined-out with all the flu and COVID news doing the rounds – well here’s another important vaccine reminder – and the clock is definitely ticking.

    Anyone aged 71 to 79 who hasn’t had their free shingles vaccine, has until the end of October to roll up their sleeve or be prepared to pay a hefty price – both healthwise and to the hip pocket.

    Australians aged 70 years can get a free shingles vaccine from their GP. However, the five year catch-up program which began in November 2016, and which allowed those aged 71 to 79 to get a free vaccination, will expire in October this year.

    This means after October 2021 unvaccinated seniors in the affected age range will have to pay around $200 for a vaccine, while seniors aged 70 can continue to get the vaccine for free.

    Shingles is the common name for herpes zoster and is a painful and debilitating condition caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus varicella zoster which most Australians will have had as children.

    The virus can lie dormant for decades in nerve cells near the spine until triggered, usually as a result of a decline in immunity due to age or immunity-suppressing medical treatment.

    The condition causes a painful, often itchy blistering rash usually on one side of the body which can take several weeks to settle. It can also cause severe pain or burning sensations on the skin. In one in 10 cases, the pain and tingling of shingles can last for months or even years.

    Where In The Body The Vaccination Is Given And How Many You Will Need

    Like most vaccinations, the vaccine will be given in your upper arm. You will only have the vaccination once.

    If you have the Zostavax vaccine, you will just need one injection. If you are not eligible for the live vaccine, you will need 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine 2 months apart to give you the best protection. Once your course is completed, you will not need any more shingles vaccines.

    Recommended Reading: Why Do You Get The Shingles

    National Shingles Vaccination Program

    One in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime, with the risk of complications increasing with age. Herpes zoster vaccination is recommended and has been funded from 1 November 2016 for eligible people under theNational Immunisation Program. Shingles immunisation can significantly reduce the risk of developing shingles and the associated ongoing persistent pain known as postherpetic neuralgia .

    How Do We Know The Vaccine Is Safe

    What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

    All medicines are tested for safety and effectiveness by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency . The shingles vaccine meets the high safety standards required for it to be used in the UK and other European countries. The vaccine has been given to millions of people worldwide.

    Once they’re in use, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored by the MHRA.

    Read Also: Does Medicaid Pay For Shingles Shot

    Immunisation For Older Adults

    Older people also need immunisation. This section describes the free immunisations available for people at age 65 and older. These immunisations protect against shingles, influenza, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.


    At age 65, immunisation against influenza, shingles , tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough is recommended by the Ministry of Health. These 3 vaccines are free. Talk to your health provider or pharmacist to find out how to protect yourself.

    As you get older, the protection you received from some of your earlier immunisations begins to wear off. Your immune system may no longer work as well, meaning you are at increased risk from some infectious diseases.


    Shingles is a painful rash affecting a particular nerve. Anyone who has previously had chickenpox can develop shingles, many years after recovering from the disease. Shingles usually occurs in older people and lasts from 10 to 15 days. The nerve pain can last long after the rash disappears and, in some cases, can cause permanent damage.

    Two doses of Shingrix, the current shingles vaccines, isfree for people aged 65. To receive both doses funded, you must receive your first Shingrix dose after you turn 65 and before you turn 66. If you receive your first dose free at age 65, the second dose is free even if you turn 66 between doses.


    In 2022 the flu vaccine is free for Mori or Pasifika aged 55 and over.

    People Who Shouldnt Have The Vaccination

    There are 2 shingles vaccines available. One contains a weakened version of the live shingles virus.

    The live vaccine is the one that is routinely used in the UK but people who have weakened immune systems, for example due to cancer treatment, should not have it. They should have the inactivated shingles vaccine. Your doctor will advise whether this applies to you. Further information is available on the Shingrix vaccine.

    If youve had a severe reaction to any of the substances that go into the vaccine, you shouldnt have it. Again, your GP will advise you.

    The live shingles vaccine used in the UK contains porcine gelatine. Some people may not want this vaccine but it is the recommended vaccine unless you cannot have it because you have a weakened immune system.

    If you have the Zostavax vaccine, you will just need one injection. If you are not eligible for the live vaccine, you will need 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine 2 months apart to give you the best protection. Once your course is completed, you will not need any more shingles vaccines.

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    Does The Shingles Vaccine Contain Thimerosal

    You may be concerned about additives to the shingles vaccine, like thimerosal.

    Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury. Its added to some vaccines to prevent bacteria and other germs from growing in them. The shingles vaccine contains thimerosal.

    The worry about thimerosal arose when early research linked it to autism. This connection has since been found to be untrue.

    How Effective Are The Vaccines

    Shingles Vaccination

    Immunisation significantly reduces the chance that you will catch these diseases, but does not provide total protection against any disease, including influenza and shingles.

    Immunisation is strongly recommended by health professionals as it may still reduce the severity of the disease.

    Although the effectiveness of immunisation reduces as we get older , immunisation is still one of the best ways to help protect against several serious diseases.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Get Shingles On Both Sides Of Your Body

    Aged 70 Or 78 Remember To Get Your Shingles Vaccination

    The Public Health Agency is reminding all people aged 70 and 78 years old that they are eligible to receive the shingles vaccine.

    The vaccine will help protect them against this common and painful disease and its complications.

    The shingles vaccine is being offered routinely to people who were aged 70 years on 1 September 2016 and as part of a catch-up programme, also to those aged 78 on 1 September .

    People who were aged 71, 72, 73 or 79 on 1 September 2016 were eligible in previous years and can still get the vaccine from their GP if they have not already had received it.

    Nearly half of those in the eligible age groups have taken up the offer of the free vaccine since September 2016 and the PHA is encouraging others to take up the offer.

    Dr Declan Bradley, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said: Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, some of the virus remains inactive in your body and nervous system. It can then reactivate in later life when your immune system is weakened.

    About a quarter of adults will get shingles at some point in their lives and thats why wed urge anyone in the eligible age groups to contact their GP and arrange a visit to get the free vaccination.

    The vaccination programme will prevent many of the hundreds of cases of shingles currently seen every year in Northern Ireland in people over 70 and reduce the severity of the symptoms for those who do develop the condition.

    People Aged 70 And 79 Years Offered Shingles Vaccine

    This vaccination programme aims to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older people.

    3 September 2013

    People aged 70 and 79 will be offered a shingles vaccination this year, as part of a vaccination programme to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older people.

    Shingles, or herpes zoster, is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it. In serious cases, it causes a rash of very painful, fluid-filled blisters on the skin that can burst and turn into sores that eventually crust over and heal.

    A catch-up programme to protect those aged 70 to 79 years will also be rolled out over several years, starting with those aged 79 years on 1st September 2013.

    Its estimated 800,000 people in the UK will be eligible for the vaccine in the first year.

    Dr Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director at PHE, said:

    Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. When you recover from chickenpox most of the virus is destroyed but some survives and lies inactive in the body in the nervous system. It can then reactivate later in life when your immune system is weakened by increasing age, stress or treatments that reduce your immunity.

    It is most common in people aged over 70 years, but by having the vaccine you will be reducing your chances of developing shingles by more than a third.

    Health Minister Lord Howe said:

    Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take To Recover From Shingles

    Why Not Get The Vaccine

    Shingrix is a marked improvement over its predecessor, more than 90 percent effective in preventing against the shingles virus.

    Health professionals, from family doctors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , that most people over the age of 50 get vaccinated.

    Yet only about a third of people over the age of 60 got the vaccination in 2016.

    So whats stopping people?

    One issue might be cost for people who arent sure whether their insurance will cover the immunization.

    Shingrix costs about $280 for both shots and Medicare Part D, which some people 65 and over have, will cover that cost, said Carandang. But individually its best to talk to your insurance company.

    Carandang also points out that even for those with a high deductible plan, some providers will still cover the cost of the shots for the sake of health maintenance.

    Jain adds that more insurers are covering the cost of Shingrix, even for patients whove already been vaccinated with Zostavax, simply because the new vaccination is so much more effective.

    Another reason some people may be hesitant about getting vaccinated stems from the side effects of getting these shots.

    The side effects of getting the Shingrix vaccine can include muscle aches, fatigue, and headaches, said Carandang. These are common and they can happen with pretty much any vaccine.

    While the pain from getting injected may be a deterrent, the potential pain that could come with a shingles infection can be worse.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

    New CDC guidelines for shingles and pneumonia vaccines

    Usually, shingles develops on just one side of the body or face, and in a small area. The most common place for shingles to occur is in a band around one side of the waistline.

    Most people with shingles have one or more of the following symptoms:

    • Fluid-filled blisters
    • Tingling, itching, or numbness of the skin
    • Chills, fever, headache, or upset stomach

    For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze. Its important to talk with your doctor if you notice any shingles symptoms.

    If you notice blisters on your face, see your doctor right away because this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage and blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, inflammation of the brain can also occur.

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    Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine: Is It Safe

    Shingles is a painful rash caused by varicella zoster, the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

    If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus hasnt completely gone away. It hides dormant in your body and can reemerge many years later as shingles.

    About 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. This is why vaccination is important. But you should also be prepared for possible side effects. In this article, well discuss the side effects, and talk about who should get the vaccine.

    Older adults are most likely to develop shingles. This is why the shingles vaccine is recommended for people ages 50 and older.

    Shingrix is the only shingles vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

    The Shingrix vaccine is a recombinant vaccine. This means vaccine manufacturers created it by altering and purifying DNA that creates an immune response to fight the virus.

    The CDC recommends Shingrix for the prevention of shingles and related complications. The Shingrix vaccine is also recommended for anyone who has already gotten another type of shingles vaccine.

    Currently, the CDC recommends healthy people ages 50 and older get the Shingrix vaccine. Doctors administer the vaccine in two doses, which are given 2 to 6 months apart.

    The Shingrix vaccine has high success rates in protecting people against shingles.

    The Shingrix vaccine is as much as effective in preventing shingles. The same is true for Shingrix and postherpetic neuralgia.

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