What is shingles?
If you’ve had chickenpox as a kid, you can get shingles as an adult.
Shingles is a viral infection that can be really nasty; especially if you’re over 50 or if your immune system is weak.
- cause a painful, blistering rash
- bring on sudden and intense pain that can last for months
- be very severe and impact your life
- lead to serious illness in some cases.
While most symptoms usually last for couple of weeks, shingles can become serious. It can lead to nerve pain that can last for months and can also cause:
- pneumonia (problems with your lungs and breathing)
- hearing problems
- swelling of your brain.
The vaccine can protect you from shingles and is free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over.
You will need 2 vaccines to be fully protected.
You can get your shingles vaccines at:
- Aboriginal Medical Services
- general practices
- local council immunisation clinics (available in some states and territories)
- community health centres
Yarn with your health professional about the free shingles vaccine today.
Who can get vaccinated
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and over can get vaccinated against shingles.
Immunocompromised people (people with weak immune systems) aged 18 years and over with the following medical conditions can also get a free shingles vaccination:
- haematopoietic stem cell transplant
- solid organ transplant
- haematological malignancy (blood cancer)
- advanced or untreated HIV.
If you’re 50 years or over and have already received a free shingles vaccine, yarn to your health professional about your eligibility today.
Non-Indigenous people aged 65 and over can also get a free shingles vaccination. Read more about who can get vaccinated.
Side effects of the shingles vaccine
Most people get only mild side effects such as:
- pain where they had their needle
These usually go away within a couple of days.
Other side effects are very rare. You should have a yarn to your health professional if you are worried about any side effects.