National Shingles Vaccination Program (ZOSTAVAX)

14 October 2016

The National Shingles Vaccination Program will commence from 1 November 2016

Key Messages for the Program

People eligible to receive the free shingles vaccine include:

  • People aged 70 years of age as an ongoing program.
  • People aged 71-79 years of age as a catch-up program until 31 October 2021.

Providers should refer to the handbook for reccomendations, particularly regarding patients who are immunocompromised.

Zostavax® vaccine may be ordered now via the online vaccine ordering system. Currently, practices are limited to ordering a maximum of 10 Zostavax® vaccines, twice monthly.  It is expected that this will be increased once the initial delivery to all practices has been undertaken and the Ministry of Health are able to allow larger orders. Until larger supplies are available, practices are recommended to delay recalling patients and organising vaccination clinics.

People who are not eligible to receive the vaccine as part of the program can purchase the vaccine on the private market.

Providers should submit shingles vaccination data to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), which commenced in September 2016, expanding upon the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) by capturing vaccines administered throughout a person’s life.

Resources include:

The above resources are being mailed out to approximately 40,000 vaccination providers (including general and specialist medical practitioners, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations and Aboriginal Medical Services) to promote the program and encourage uptake of the vaccine.

Copies of the materials and additional resources specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and translated brochures for people from non-English speaking backgrounds are available on the Immunise Australia website.

The new NCIRS Zoster vaccine for adults factsheet and FAQ on Zoster vaccine are also available for your reference.

Ensure you access current advice from the online version of the Australian Immunisation Handbook (updated August 2016).

Please  pdf click here for the further information (164 KB)  from NSW Health including contraindications and administration. 

How can vaccination providers assist?

Vaccination providers will play a key role in informing patients about the program. To assist in promoting the program we ask that you encourage vaccination providers to:

  • Administer the vaccine to eligible people. Vaccination providers could consider a staged approach to recalling 70-79 year old patients as appropriate for their clinic.
  • Promote the vaccine to eligible people through displaying the program posters and brochures in their clinic.
  • Report adult and childhood vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register.