Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen MP said seventy-year-old Australians can now get the shingles vaccine for free.
The shingles vaccine will be free to eligible people, with a catch-up program available for adults aged 71 to 79 years.
“This new National Shingles Vaccination Program is an important reminder that vaccinations don’t stop at childhood,” Mr van Manen said.
“Regardless of how healthy and fit you feel, as you age you are at increased risk of contracting serious illnesses.
“The start of the National Shingles Vaccination Program is a major investment by the Turnbull Government in the National Immunisation Program to improve the health of older Australians.”
Shingles is a painful rash caused by the chickenpox virus. It is a serious infection that has a particularly debilitating effect on older people. Regardless of how fit and healthy you may feel, one in three adults are at risk of developing the virus in their lifetime.
With the introduction of the shingles vaccine, the National Immunisation Program now provides free vaccines for eligible people against 17 infectious diseases.
The NIP is the key weapon in Australia’s fight against vaccine-preventable diseases.
“The Government recognises that people want assurances that the vaccines they are receiving today are safe. This is why the Government is investing in the AusVaxSafety National Surveillance System,” Mr van Manen said.
“This will be a world-leading surveillance system providing real-time feedback on NIP vaccines, enhancing the overall quality of vaccine safety in Australia.”
For more information about the NIP and the NIP schedule, visit the Immunise Australia website.