From November 1 2023 more people are eligible to access a new free shingles vaccination through the National Immunisation Program.
WHAT IS SHINGLES?
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection characterized by a painful skin rash that typically appears as a band or strip on one side of the body. It is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, the virus can remain dormant in the nerve cells for years and then reactivate, leading to the development of shingles. The reactivation is most common during times when the patient’s immune system is less effective for example with age, immune suppression, chronic disease or other infections.
The main symptoms include a burning or tingling sensation followed by the eruption of a painful rash with fluid-filled blisters. While the rash usually clears up within a few weeks, the pain can persist for many months in some cases.
Adults aged 65 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over, and immunocompromised adults aged 18 years and over with certain medical conditions are eligible for a free shingles vaccination from November 1.
For more information:
Shingles Vaccine - www.health.tas.gov.au/publications/shingles-fact-sheet