To support Yukoners’ long-term wellbeing and quality of life, the Government of Yukon is publicly funding a shingles vaccine for Yukoners between the ages of 65 and 70, the age at which the vaccine is most effective.
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash, caused by the same virus as chickenpox. After someone has had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.
The shingles vaccine, Shingrix, will be publicly funded in Yukon beginning January 1, 2021.
Shingles can be very painful and disproportionately affects older adults. Vaccines are an important preventative tool that can help keep people healthy and reduce the need for primary, acute or urgent care. Funding this effective vaccine will help Yukoners age well and live healthy lives, and will have a positive impact on our territory’s health system.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Funding the shingles vaccine is in line with a recommendation in the Putting People First report, as well as feedback received as part of the Aging in Place public engagement.
There is an increased risk of shingles for older adults. While it is not a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful.
Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles. Shingrix is a two-dose, non-live vaccine that has been shown to be 90 per cent effective in preventing shingles.
Starting January 1, 2021, the shingles vaccine will be available free of charge at local pharmacies and by appointment at Community Health Centres. It is currently available at your pharmacy, for a fee, with a prescription from your physician.