A shingles vaccine could be free for over 65s by as early as April.
Pharmac is on track to fund the vaccine for up to 600,000 people by early 2018, according to Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.
"[Pharmac] found that the vaccine should be made available for people aged 65, with a two-year catch-up programme provided for those between 65 and 80 years of age," Dr Coleman said.
"Between the ages of 65-80 there are 600,000 people who would all be eligible for the funded vaccine through the catch-up programme."
Shingles is an infection caused by the virus that causes chickenpox, with symptoms including pain, tingling, numbness, rash, fever, chills, headache and an upset stomach.
Dr Coleman said the vaccine would be free from primary care practices.