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We recently marked Shingles Awareness Week which was established to raise awareness around misconceptions about the risks of developing shingles.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about 1 in 3 people in the Australia will develop shingles in their life. The risk of having shingles increases as people get older or if they have a weakened immune system.

Shingles can cause other complications, including pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness,  swelling of the brain, as well as severe neuralgia.

The shingles vaccine Shingrix® replaced Zostavax on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) on 1 November. The NIP will fund a 2-dose course for eligible people for this non-live vaccine.

According to the Department of Health, people can receive Shingrix® at the same time as other inactivated vaccines such as tetanus-containing vaccines, pneumococcal vaccines, influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines. However, it is preferable that Shingrix® be given by itself where possible. There is potential for increased adverse events when more than one vaccine is given at the same time.

Five million Australians have become eligible for the free vaccination including Australians aged 65 and over, First Nations people over 50 and immunocompromised people 18 and over.

Although it hasn’t been a smooth transition with many practices having difficulty receiving sufficient supply of the vaccine for their NIP-eligible patients. This is expected to continue for some time.


Further information


Shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine: Department of Health

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