Shingles vaccine

Shingles is a serious disease, but the good news is that it's vaccine preventable. 

Shingles is a painful blistering rash caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus – the same virus that causes chicken pox.

People of any age can get it, but it is most common in people who are in their 60s and 70s. The virus tends to reactivate when your immune system is weaker than normal. Health professionals say that it is not unusual to get shingles when you're already sick or stressed.

But there is a vaccine for shingles and people aged 70 can get vaccinated for free under the National Immunisation Program. Catch-up doses are also available for those between 71-79 years of age.

This vaccine reduces the risk of getting shingles and the widespread nerve pain associated with it.

To find out if you're a candidate for the shingles vaccine talk to your doctor.