National shingles vaccination program – free to people over 70
The government is running a National Immunisation Program to give people over 70 the shingles vaccine for free.
Shingles is a vaccine-preventable disease that particularly affects the over 70s. As a person gets older, the risk of contracting shingles increases.
A significant illness that can last for an extended period of time and cause other health complications, symptoms include a painful, blistering rash, severe nerve pain, and flu-like symptoms.
As well as the free shingles vaccination, there is a five-year catch-up program for people aged 71-79 until 31 October 2021.
To receive the immunisation, visit your local doctor or vaccination provider. It is important to note that, although the vaccine is provided at no cost, a consultation fee may apply.
Singles is caused by the rebirth of the chicken pox virus. Once a person has contracted chicken pox, the virus can lie dormant in the body for many years. Once reactivated, the infection can spread by direct contact with an exposed rash.