Raumati Nurse says Shingles Vaccine deemed too expensive

A registered nurse says that people at risk of shingles are not getting vaccinated due to cost.

Carmel Rodrigo, a registered nurse at the Raumati Road Surgery, says that she’s in the same category of those struggling with the cost.

“I haven’t given myself one because price is a factor”

Rodrigo recommends the vaccine saying, “anything that can minimise that risk is a good thing” but is aware that price is an obstacle for many.

There has been a call from the elderly to reduce the price of Zostavax, the $210 shingles vaccine.

Furthermore, the vaccine only lasts about six years.

71-year-old local, Lorraine Harwood agrees.

“I felt it was essential, as I see my sister suffer from shingles, but can’t afford it.”

The shingles website states, one in three will get shingles in their lifetime. The risk rises with age and by 85 years old; one in two will have had shingles.

Statistics New Zealand also note that the number of New Zealanders aged over 65 will increase to 1.2 million in the next 12 years.

Pharmac, the Pharmaceutical Management Agency has responded saying that an application for funding was lodged in 2015.

Their advisors have “recommended that it should be funded, they gave that a medium priority ranking.”

They state they are still in the process of assessing the vaccine and are not able to provide a date of completion.