Vaccinations are one of the most effective public health interventions for promoting and maintaining good health. To support Yukoners’ long-term wellbeing and quality of life, the Government of Yukon is publicly funding the shingles vaccine, Shingrix, for Yukoners between the ages of 65 and 70.
In addition to this, the Government of Yukon is also expanding the eligibility of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program to include all Yukoners up to and including age 26.
Shingles is a viral infection caused by the same virus as chickenpox, which causes a painful rash. The shingles vaccine lowers the risk of getting shingles significantly and reduces the chance of complications from this disease for people without medical contraindications.
HPV is a common virus spread mainly through sexual contact. It is related to almost all cases of cervical cancer and many other HPV-related cancers in both males and females.
Those who are eligible for the shingles vaccine will need to contact their doctor or nurse practitioner to obtain a prescription. All Yukoners who are between the ages of 65 and 70 on January 1, 2021, are eligible to receive the vaccine at no cost. The HPV-9 vaccine doesn’t require a prescription.
Effective today, both vaccines can be administered at a local pharmacy free of charge. Yukoners who live in a community without a rural dispensary or pharmacy will need to come to Whitehorse to receive their vaccines. These visits will be covered by the Yukon Medical Travel program. A pharmacist or a physician will need to confirm the visit by submitting a Medical Travel subsidy form.
The Government of Yukon encourages all Yukoners receiving one of these vaccines to speak to their doctor or pharmacist about their vaccination schedule to ensure they are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine not be administered with a different vaccine for a period of at least 14 days prior to or 28 days after.
Making the shingles and HPV vaccines available free of charge for eligible Yukoners is another way our government is investing in preventative health care and the wellbeing of Yukoners. This is a direct response to recommendations made in the Putting People First and Aging in Place What We Heard report. By including the shingles vaccine and expanding the HPV vaccine in Yukon’s publicly funded immunization program, we will help protect those who are highly susceptible to contracting these diseases.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Funding the shingles vaccine and the expansion of the HPV 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.
The HPV-9 vaccine is provided in schools starting in Grade 6. Individuals who missed an HPV vaccination will be able to access the HPV-9 vaccine up to and including age 26. If a Yukoner has not received the vaccine in school or has not received the required doses two or three doses depending on the individual’s age, they can make an appointment with their local pharmacy to receive the vaccine.
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.
The shingles vaccine is available to all eligible Yukoners at any pharmacy at no cost. If a Yukoner is outside the age range identified, they can still receive the vaccine but will be required to pay out of pocket.
Communications, Health and Social Services