New Shingles vaccine to be launched this month

Shingrix is a shingles vaccine that will offer greater protection against shingles than our current vaccine, Zostavax.  One of its advantages is that it is extremely effective regardless of the age it is administered, offering over 90% protection in those over age 70. Effectiveness of our current vaccine, Zostavax, decreases significantly when given to adults over age 70.

Shingrix will require two injections given 2 months apart.  Unlike the live vaccine, Zostavax, Shingrix isn’t a live vaccine and therefore can be given to patients who are taking immunosuppressant treatment. However, recipients may experience more redness and and skin irritation from Shingrix as it is a very immunogenic vaccine.  Therefore we are uncertain if could cause a flare in people with an auto-immune disease.

We will keep you informed of all information once this vaccine is released.  We are not yet sure of how the provincial government will respond in offering coverage of this vaccine. Currently Zostavax is provided through public health to those between 65-70 years of age.

For more information on this vaccine or any other medications, please speak to your healthcare provider.


Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health.  Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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