Free Zostavax offered to older Aussies

From 1 November many older Australians will be able to receive the herpes zoster vaccine, Zostavax, for free.

Zostavax, which protects against shingles, is available to eligible Australians aged between 70 and 79, with around 20,000 Australians in that age group affected each year.

“As the incidence and severity of shingles increases with age, being able to help reduce the risk of shingles, and its resulting complications, is an important step forward,” said Professor Dominic Dwyer, clinical professor at the Western Clinical School at the University of Sydney.

Zostavax is a live attenuated vaccine that is administered subcutaneously in a single dose.

The vaccine should be reconstituted and administered immediately after removal from the fridge and discarded if not used within 30 minutes.

Vaccination should be deferred for patients with a fever over 38.5°C.

The vaccine is well tolerated but side effects include headache, erythema, pain or tenderness, swelling, pruritus, fatigue, haematoma, warmth and induration… Read More>>

Source: Medical Republic

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