Commencing November 2016 the National Immunisation Program provides a free shingles vaccine at 70 years of age and a free catch-up program for 71 to 79 year olds until the end of 2021.
The vaccine is a live vaccine and as such should not be given to patients with severe immunocompromise due to either a primary or acquired medical condition, or due to medical treatment. This includes patients receiving high-does systemic immunosuppressive therapy such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, oral corticosteroids or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS); patients suffering from malignant conditions of the reticuloendothelian system (such as Lymphona, Leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease); patients with AIDS or symptomatic HIV infection. Less severe immunocompromised patients may be considered but should check with their General Practitioner or Specialist.
The Doctors of Glen Iris Medical Group recommend this free vaccine for patients in this age group and would also recommend the Private vaccine for patients aged 60-69 at a cost of $220.00.
Vaccination is still recommended for patients who have had shingles infection in the past, however it is recommended to wait at least a year after recovery.