Shingles vaccine for over-65s

  • 10/11/2017
Shingles
Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, varicella-zoster. Photo credit: Getty

More than 600,000 New Zealanders will get relief from shingles following Pharmac's decision to fully fund the vaccine for the virus.

From April, the shingles vaccine Zostavax will be fully funded for people over 65 years old.

Pharmac is the Government agency that decides which pharmaceuticals to publicly fund in New Zealand.

Director of operations Sarah Fitt says the vaccine will make a big difference to the one-in-three New Zealanders who will have at least one attack of shingles in their lifetime.

"Shingles can occur in people at any age but older people are the most affected and complications can be more serious and require admission to hospital," she said.

"While most cases of shingles can be managed at home, these attacks can sometimes lead to other serious health complications."

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, varicella-zoster.

Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles later in life, although the most significant risk factor for developing shingles is age.

NZN