Since November 2016, a free shingles vaccine program has been funded under the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program (NIP) for 70 year olds, with a time-limited catch-up program for people 71 to 79 years old until October 2021.
At the commencement of the program, the interest in the vaccine was unprecedented. Early shortages have been addressed and there is now ample stock available to meet ongoing demand under the program.
Zostavax® is available nationally and the vaccine is readily accessible to immunisation providers.
To assist in promoting the program and ensuring people 70 to 79 years old are protected against shingles, it is now timely that providers:
- follow up with patients or other eligible people 70 to 79 years old who would benefit from the vaccine and who may have missed out earlier in the program.
- promote the vaccine to eligible people 70 to 79 years old through displaying the program posters and brochures in your clinic or health care facility.
- report vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
Zostavax® supplies can be ordered through the same process currently used to order vaccines for the NIP through your state or territory Health Department.
For further information, clinical advice and promotional materials for the National Shingles Vaccination Program are available for download online at the Department of Health’s immunisation website.
[Source: Department of Health]