Protect Yourself Against Shingles - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brochure

A FREE vaccine is now available for people aged 70–79 years old.

Page last updated: 19 October 2016

PDF printable version of "Protect yourself against Shingles" (PDF 3539 KB)

Did you know?

Shingles can be very painful and lead to serious, long-term complications for older people.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a painful blistering rash caused by reactivation of the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Sometimes pain in the affected region can be severe and last a long time.

Other complications may include scarring, skin infections, loss of vision or hearing, pneumonia and/or neurological complications.

Vaccinations don’t stop at childhood

Ask your general practitioner or vaccination provider about other free vaccines you may be eligible for.

Am I really at risk of shingles?

One in three people will develop shingles in their lifetime.

As a person gets older, the risk of getting shingles and neurological complications increases.

Who can have a free shingles vaccine?

All people aged 70 years old, with a five-year catch up program for people aged 71–79 years old until 31 October 2021.

Check with your doctor, nurse or healthcare worked to see if you can get a free shingles vaccine.

Those who are not eligible for a free vaccine can purchase it with a prescription from their general practitioner or vaccination provider.

Where can I get the shingles vaccine?

The vaccine is available from November 2016 from your doctor, nurse or healthcare worker.

If I’ve had shingles before should I still get vaccinated?

Discuss with your doctor, nurse or healthcare worker. Vaccination is still recommended for those who have had shingles infection in the past. However, you should wait at least a year between an episode of shingles and having the vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe?

The shingles vaccine is safe for most people aged 70–79 years of age, including those people with chronic diseases.

Certain people may be unable to have the vaccine, particularly those who have a very weakened immune system. Please speak with your doctor, nurse or healthcare worker for advice.

The most common vaccine side effects occur around the injection site including redness, swelling and/or pain. Occasionally, headache, itching or a rash around the injection site may occur.

How many vaccine doses do I need?

A single dose of shingles vaccine is currently recommended.

Your vaccinations don’t stop at childhood.

It is important for adults to be vaccinated too.

There are other free vaccination Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be eligible for under the National Immunisation Program including:

Pneumococcal vaccine which can reduce your risk of pneumonia.

Influenza vaccine which is available from Autumn each year to help protect you against the flu virus.

Ask your doctor nurse or healthcare worker about other free vaccines you may be eligible for.

Did you know?

Shingles can be very painful and lead to serious, long-term complications for older people.

For more information regarding immunisation, visit Immunise Australia Program or call the Immunise Australia Information Line 1800 671 811

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