The Ontario’s Ministry of Health is hoping to reduce visits to the hospitals for seniors afflicted with shingles.
The province announcing on Thursday they will be providing the shingles vaccine free of charge, which should save eligible seniors about $170.
Health Minister Eric Hoskins said in presser on Thursday that the shingles vaccine will be available across the province for people 65 to 70 years of age.
Ontario will become the first jurisdiction in Canada to provide the vaccine free of charge with a $68 million investment over three years in order to publicly fund the vaccine, which is expected to reduce the likelihood of seniors developing the painful infection.
“The vaccine is most effective when we give it at that age group, between 65 to 70.” said Hoskins. “As you get older, the vaccine is not nearly as effective. So every single Ontarian can get, as of today, the shingles vaccine free of charge.”
More than 42,000 people every year in Ontario are affected by shingles, also known as herpes zoster. Common complications from disorder include loss of vision and debilitating nerve pain.
The new program will align with scientific and expert recommendations from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Those who are eligible for the shingles vaccine should contact their primary care doctor or nurse practitioner to receive the vaccination.