Shield yourself from shingles

Yarn with your health professional about the shingles vaccine that’s free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over.

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.

It can:

  • 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
  • blindness
  • swelling of your brain.

Getting vaccinated

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
  • pharmacies.

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
  • redness
  • swelling
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • fever.

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.

Shield yourself from shingles – Aunty Sue

Aunty Sue from Mununjali Country shares a message to mob about getting the free shingles vaccine.

0:35

Hey, you mob.

If you’ve had chickenpox as a kid, you can get shingles as an adult.

It can be really nasty, especially if you are over 50 or if your immune system is weak.

The good news is there’s a safe and effective shingles vaccine out there for all us mob. 50 years or older, it’s free.

Shield yourself from shingles.

Yarn with your health professional about a free vaccine today.

Get your questions answered

Learn more about the shingles vaccines by reading the simple factsheet with more information.

Download the factsheet

 

Download resources

See brochures, posters and other resources for First Nations people about the shingles vaccine. 

Go to resources

 

Find a clinic

Use NACCHO's map to find an Aboriginal Medical Service near you. Ring ahead to see if they have the shingles vaccine in stock. 

Get more details on shingles

Healthdirect has more information about shingles symptoms and treatments.