Free shingles vaccine program now available to Islanders aged 60 and over

Today, the Government of Prince Edward Island announced they are dropping the age of eligibility for the free shingles vaccine from 65 to 60 years of age starting immediately. 

“Lowering the age eligibility for the shingles vaccine program from 65 to age 60 will ensure that we can help prevent more seniors from suffering with this painful condition. Shingrix provides an important layer of protection for the health of our Island seniors.”

- Health and Wellness Minister Ernie Hudson

Islanders aged 60 and over can book their free Shingrix Vaccine to prevent shingles at community pharmacies across the Island. For the best protection, two doses are required, given between two and six months apart. The cost of the vaccine is covered by the provincial government. 

Vaccine appointments can be booked directly by contacting a community pharmacy by phone or through online booking on their website. 

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization and PEI’s Chief Public Health Office recommend Shingrix™ as the preferred vaccine for adults in preventing shingles disease. Since the launch of this program on February 16th, 2022 there has been 16,360 doses of Shingrix Vaccine distributed to pharmacists administering the vaccine across the province. 

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus lies inactive inside their body, and years later the virus may reactivate as shingles.  It is estimated that 30 per cent of adults will develop shingles in their lifetime and 10 per cent will develop lingering and debilitating nerve pain.

Media contact:
Morgan Martin
Health and Wellness
(902) 218-3430 

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