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Shield yourself from Shingles

Shield yourself from shingles

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful blistering rash. It is caused by reactivation of the same virus that causes chickenpox. While most symptoms typically last 2-3 weeks, shingles can become serious. It can lead to nerve pain that can last for months (called post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN). Other serious complications include pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness and swelling of the brain.

About 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime. Shingles usually affects older people, and the risk of complications increases with age, particularly for:

o those over the age of 65

o Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over

o some people with weakened immune systems.

Who can get the free vaccine?

A 2-dose course of Shingrix is now available free at your local Peak Pharmacy for:

  • People aged 65 years and over

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over, and

  • Immunocompromised people aged 18 years and over with the following medical

How many vaccine doses do I need?

Two doses of the Shingrix vaccine are recommended and free under the NIP for eligible people. It is important to receive both doses for the best protection. For most people, the two doses of Shingrix vaccine are given 2 to 6 months apart. For people with weakened immune systems, the two doses are given 1 to 2 months apart.

Is the shingles vaccine safe and effective?

Yes. The shingles vaccine is safe and very good at preventing shingles and stopping bad side effects from the virus that causes shingles. The shingles vaccine doesn’t contain any live virus and is safe for adults with weakened immune systems.

Are there any side effects from the vaccine?

Shingrix creates a strong defence against shingles and can cause temporary side effects. These can include pain where the needle went in, redness and swelling, tiredness, muscle aches, headaches, fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. These reactions are generally mild and disappear in a few days.

Shingrix can be given at the same time as other ‘inactivated’ vaccines such as tetanus-containing vaccines, pneumococcal vaccines, flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines. However, it is best to have it by itself, if possible, to reduce the risk of mild to moderate side effects. Talk to your local Peak Pharmacies pharmacist for advice.

Where can I get more information?

Visit or speak to your local Peak Pharmacies pharmacist.

Learn more about our vaccinations service and make a booking here:

Peak Pharmacies Geelong

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