From 1 November, 36,015 Australians in Robertson will have free access to the best protection against shingles through one of the most comprehensive and widely available vaccination programs in the world.
The Albanese Government is investing $826.8 million to provide almost 5 million people who are at risk of severe disease from shingles with a free Shingrix® vaccine under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
This includes everyone aged 65 years and over, First Nations people 50 years and over, and immunocompromised people 18 years and over at high risk of herpes zoster infection.
Shingrix® provides around 10 years of protection and usually costs up to $560 – for almost 5 million people and 36,015 in Robertson that will now be free.
Shingles is caused by reactivation of the same virus that causes chickenpox and presents as a painful blistering rash on one side of the face or body that lasts 10-15 days.
1 in 5 people with shingles will develop severe nerve pain known as post-herpetic neuralgia that can last months or even years. In some cases, it may be permanent.
The risk of developing shingles increases with age and people aged 65 years and over are at highest risk of complications like post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingrix® will replace Zostavax® on the NIP from 1 November 2023, following advice from the independent medicines experts at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
“Without vaccination, almost one in three Australians will get shingles in their lifetime,” said Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler.
“Thanks to the Albanese Government older Australians will now have free access to the best protection against shingles through one of the most comprehensive and widely available vaccination programs in the world,” Minister Butler said.
“This investment will ensure nearly five million Australians can get free protection from shingles and the very painful nerve damage that it causes.
“Shingles can be severe, so it’s really important that eligible people talk to their GP or pharmacist about getting the shingles vaccine.”
“The Albanese Government is providing older Australians on the Central Coast with the best protection against shingles, completely free,” Dr Gordon Reid, Member for Robertson said.
“36,015 people in our electorate are going to get free access to the best shingles protection because of this investment by the Albanese Government.
“Free access to the latest shingles vaccine means people on the Central Coast now have protection and piece of mind.”