By Lola Augustine Brown
Ontario’s Liberal Government recently announced that it will spend $68 million over the next three years to allow eligible seniors to get the shingles vaccine for free. This is targeted at seniors between 65 and 70, and will save them approximately $170.
Given that 42,000 Ontario residents each year are reported to get shingles, and that the painful infection can have complications such as nerve pain and vision loss, this will no doubt be welcomed by seniors and health professionals alike.
Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced that 850,000 seniors in the province are eligible and said that because the vaccination is highly effective within that age group, it should reduce the likelihood of seniors getting the infection and reduce the number of related hospital visits. The vaccination is available from family doctors and other primary healthcare providers.