Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch has welcomed news that Far Northerners aged over 70 can now get the shingles vaccine at no cost.
Mr Entsch said 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 Entsch said. “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.”
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.
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 we are investing in the AusVaxSafety National Surveillance System,” Mr Entsch 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.