If you are turning 65 in 2017, you are eligible to receive the shingles vaccine free of charge. This may save you nearly $170 and helps to reduce the risk of shingles. Seniors aged 65 to 70 can get the vaccine from their doctor or nurse practitioner. The vaccine greatly reduces the risk of developing shingles.
“Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, affects more than 42,000 people every year in Ontario. People with shingles often experience pain, tingling, or itching and then a painful rash. This rash can last for a month or more and is often severe enough to interfere with daily activities. For some, complications from the virus can lead to serious health problems such as loss of vision and prolonged nerve pain.”
Since the program launched in September, approximately 200,000 doses of the publicly funded shingles vaccine have been distributed throughout Ontario. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.
“Shingles can flare up later in life, most often when a person’s immune system is weakened due to age or as a result of other health problems. Seniors between 65 and 70 now have the opportunity to help protect themselves and save money by getting the vaccine free from their primary care provider.” explained Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.