By Kevin Flynn
Friday, December 30, 2016 9:00 am ·  0 Comments
Ontario is reminding seniors who are turning 65 in 2017 that, starting January 1,2017 they will be eligible to get the shingles vaccine free of charge, saving them approximately $170 and helping them stay healthy.
Seniors aged 65 to 70 can get the vaccine from their doctor or nurse practitioner. The vaccine greatly reduces the risk of developing shingles. Studies show that the vaccine is highly effective when seniors are vaccinated between the ages of 65 to 70. The program aligns with scientific and expert recommendations from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, affects more than 42,000 people every year in Ontario. People with shingles often experience pain, tingling, or itching and then a painful rash. This rash can last for a month or more and is often severe enough to interfere with daily activities. For some, complications from the virus can lead to serious health problems such as loss of vision and prolonged nerve pain.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that provides the shingles vaccine free of charge. Expanding Ontario’s publicly funded immunization program to help seniors stay healthy is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.
herpes zoster, Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Immunization, January 1 2017, Kevin Flynn, National Advisory Committee on Immunization, Ontario Ministry of Health, Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, Shingles Vaccine