Shingles vaccine approved by Health Canada

Fall 2008 CSANews Issue 68  |  Posted date : Sep 19, 2008.Back to list

Health Canada has approved a shingles vaccine for adults 60 years and older. The vaccine, called Zostavax, is manufactured by Merck Frosst Canada and should be available later next year.

Although shingles can occur at any age, older adults who have had chicken pox earlier in life are more susceptible. Rising age, suppressed immune system and lack of re-exposure to the varicella virus (the bug that causes chicken pox) all raise the risk of a shingles outbreak. Shingles causes a painful rash that typically lasts for two weeks. In severe cases, pain can last for months or even years after the rash subsides.

If you're interested in receiving the Zostavax vaccine, speak to your doctor about availability and potential side-effects.