Seniors advocacy group calls for provinces to fund shingles vaccine
Seniors advocacy group wants provinces to cover new shingles vaccine
The Canadian Association of Retired Persons says a new vaccine to fight shingles should be covered by Saskatchewan and other provinces.
The vaccine known as Shingrix, was released to Canadian pharmacies this week. It costs about $250 dollars and is only available for purchase.
"It's a vaccine that helps to combat shingles for Canadians over age 50 and it’s proven to be effective between 90 and 97 per cent," said Anthony Quinn, Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Association of Retired People.
Ontario is the only province to cover an older vaccine for shingles called Zostavax. Quinn says Saskatchewan should follow Ontario's lead and cover the newer, more effective vaccination.
"It's such a painful and debilitating virus, it really does diminish the quality of life for Canadians," Quinn said. "And as we age about one third of us are likely to get it."
Shingles is a painful viral illness caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus, and is more common in older adults. Symptoms include painful skin blisters on one side of the body. Quinn says 130,000 Canadians suffer from shingles every year, including around 3300 in Saskatchewan.