Shingles vaccine to protect the elderly

As part of a pre-travel health consultation, we look at routine vaccinations and ensure each traveller is current with the recommended vaccines for their age group.

From this month, another vaccine has been added to the range used to protect the 70+ age group – Zostavax. This vaccine, which offers protection against Herpes zoster virus (cause of the painful condition shingles), is offered to those eligible residents aged 70 years. A 5-year catch up for the 71-79 year age group will be in place until October 2021. Your doctor will determine each person's suitability for vaccination - immunocompromise, acute illness, allergy and recent shingles infection are some of the conditions that need to be considered.

Read more about the Herpes zoster virus and how after primary infection with chickenpox (varicella) the latent virus can reactivate in later life to cause shingles. 

As the Immunise Australia website so succinctly puts it: ‘Vaccinations don’t stop at childhood.’ Read more