I have been chasing the Shingrix vaccine since 2017.
I have rung and emailed GSK - and they have told me that it is not available in Australia despite it being approved for Australia.
A specialist has recommended it for my husband. I have asked doctors in Australia (GPs and specialists) about prescribing it for my husband and myself.
But we have not been able to get a prescription for it in Australia, despite it having been approved for use in Australia.
Does anyone know of how a doctor in Australia can prescribe Shingrix?
Does anyone know of a pharmacy that dispenses Shingrix?
This Qld Health webpage mentions the old Zostavaxc vaccine only. No mention at all of the Shingrix vaccine. Ditto for the federal health website and other states’ health websites
Zostavax does not work very well in older people.
Zostavax is not recommended for immuno-compromised people.
Shingrix works well in older people.
Shingrix is safer.
Australian scientists played a large part in the development of Shingrix.
In Australia it is ‘older’ people who need protection from shingles because it wasn’t until 2005 that Australia chickenpox vaccine became free for babies and children under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Information about Shingrix:
15 July 2015 presentation document (PDF) by Tony Cunningham (when he worked at Westmead, Sydney) is a good introduction to the differences between the old Zostavax and the new Shingrix.
March 2018 article about effectiveness of Shingrix
2 July 2018 Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval 1531132870290 for SHINGRIX recombinant Varicella Zoster Virus glycoprotein E antigen 50 micrograms powder and suspension for suspension for injection vial
Shingrix is in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG); it has ARTG ID: 289257
3 July 2018 Healthcare Professional Media Release “Singrix approved in Australia for the prevention of shingles and post herpetic neuralgia in adults aged 50 and over” GSK announced that TGA has approved Shingrix, a vaccine for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) in adults aged 50 years or older. (store at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, do not freeze, protect from light). Recombinant Varicella Zoster Virus glycoprotein E antigen.
2019 WA Health brochure titled “Useful information following vaccination” mentions Shingrix https://www.healthywa.health.wa.gov.au/-/media/Files/Corporate/general-documents/Immunisation/PDF/Usefulinformationfollowingvaccination.pdf
NPS Medicinewise website
Herpes zoster vaccine is freely available to at-risk Australians, but many are not vaccinated.
says “There is a new herpes zoster recombinant subunit adjuvanted vaccine (HZ/su, Shingrix). It is not a live vaccine and requires a two-dose schedule with approximately 2–6 months between doses. The vaccine was registered in Australia in 2017 for people aged 50 years and above. However, it is not yet available for use.”
… and goes on to say " In 2018, an application by the manufacturer to include the HZ/su vaccine on the National Immunisation Program was unsuccessful due to uncertainty regarding cost-effectiveness."
… and “The [Shingrix] recombinant vaccine is more efficacious and more reactogenic than the live vaccine [Zostavax]. In clinical trials, it provided 97% protection against herpes zoster for 50–59 year olds and 91% for those aged over 70 years.”
… and goes on to explain the past trials that showed Shingrix to be safe and effective for immuno-compromised people.
Is a campaign needed to get Shingrix approved by the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for Australians too old to have been vaccinated against chicken pox as children; and also anyone else who missed out on protection from shingles caused by varicella virus (for example cannot have live virus Zostavax for medical reasons, or too old for Zostavax to have sufficient effectiveness)???