The shingles vaccine (Zostavax) is available to adults age 50 years and older. This vaccine is covered by Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) only for those aged 65-70 years old. For other age groups, there is a cost which may be covered by your insurance benefit plan.
Shingles or herpes zoster is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox. Once a person has had chickenpox, the virus stays in the nerve cells of the body. The virus may be there for many years and not cause any problems. Sometimes, for unknown reasons, it becomes active again and causes shingles. Shingles causes a painful, blistering skin rash.
Not everyone who has had chickenpox will develop shingles; it occurs most frequently in adults over age 50 and in people with a weakened immune system. Zostavax is available from your health care provider or you can book into one of our immunization clinics held twice a month. Only 1 dose is needed for protection.
Note: A newly released zoster vaccine, Shingrix is currently not available at the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit.
Call us at 519.355.1071 ext. 5900 for more information.