Shingrix News

Wed April 3rd 2024

Wonderful news for our Immune Compromised patient community.
Pharmac will now be funding Shingrix for all primary immunodeficiency patients 18 years and older, from July 2024.

Anyone who has been infected with varicella-zoster virus, and likely to have had chickenpox previously, is at risk of developing shingles at some stage in their life.

Shingles can affect people of any age but is more common as we get older. By the age of 85 years, at least half of us will have had shingles. In addition to getting older, other factors can increase the risk of getting shingles, such as having a weakened immune system, psychological stress, physical trauma, being female and having a genetically close relative who has had shingles. PID patients are especially vulnerable, and unlike the general population, are unable to have the standard, live vaccinations

A non-live Shingles vaccine option was not available in New Zealand until Shingrix was introduced in 2022 (Shingrix is a non-live ,adjuvanted recombinant protein subunit vaccine, suited to most immune deficient patients). This was a positive move, but the vaccine was expensive, only privately funded ( not provided free through MOH), and only available to eligible patients over 50 years.

The new approval by Pharmac to subsidise this treatment for PID patients over the age of 21 is a game-changer and will make a huge difference to our vulnerable PID patient community.