From 1 November 2023, The Australian Government has announced that Shingrix® will replace Zostavax® on the National Immunisation Program. It will be funded for anyone who is:
Shingrix® is a two-dose course with an interval of 2-6 months for immunocompetent people and an interval of 1-2 months for people who are immunocompromised. Unlike Zostavax®, Shingrix® does not contain any live virus so it can be given to people aged 18 years and over who are immunocompromised.
Herpes zoster, commonly known as shingles, is a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in a person who has previously had varicella (chickenpox). Shingles usually presents as a painful rash and can lead to post-herpetic neuralgia, a neuropathic pain syndrome, and other complications.
Shingrix® will replace Zostavax® on the NIP based on recommendations from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
Zostavax® continues to be available on the NIP for immunocompetent people aged 70 years, with a catch-up program from 71–79 years, until 31 October 2023.
The program changes follow recommendations from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and other clinical experts.
Further detailed advice for providers and consumers is also available on the Department’s website: