Shingles (also called herpes zoster) is the disease caused when the chickenpox virus reactivates. Shingles can cause severe pain that can last for months.
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from serious disease caused by shingles.
Who should get vaccinated against shingles?
Anyone who wants to protect themselves against shingles can talk to their vaccination provider about getting vaccinated.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends shingles vaccination for specific groups including:
- adults aged 60 years and over
- adults aged 50 years and over who live in the same household as someone who has a weakened immune system.
- Shingles vaccination with the Zostavax vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for immunocompetent adults aged 70 years. Catch-up vaccination is also available for adults aged 71 to 79 years until 31 October 2023.
Zostavax vaccine should not be given to:
- people who have had anaphylaxis after a previous dose of any live varicella-zoster vaccine or anaphylaxis after any component of a Zostavax vaccin
- people with current or recent severe immunocompromise
- pregnant women.
Zostavax vaccine contains a small amount of the live virus. Some people may not be able to receive a live vaccine for medical reasons. Discuss with your vaccination provider whether this vaccine is appropriate for you.