‚ÄčAs you may be aware, since May 2015 the Grey Power Federation has asked Pharmac several times if it could provide the shingles vaccine, Zostavax at no cost to older people.

Therefore, we now welcome the good news from Janet McKay Pharmac’s Manager, Implementation Programmes, that the shingles vaccine will be available free from general practices from 1 April 2018 for people aged 65 years and that those who are eligible will be able to receive the shingles and influenza vaccines at the same time if they wish.

There will also be a catch-up programme which will allow people aged between 66 and 80 years to get access to the funded shingles vaccine. This will run until March 2020.

About one in three people get shingles. Shingles is an infection that’s caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Anyone who has previosly had chickenpoz may subsequently develop shingles, and the incidence tends to be proportionally higher for seniors.

‚ÄčSymptoms include burning, sharp pain, tingling or numbness of the skin, a rash, a fever, chills, a headache and an upset stomach. Attacks can be very painful, prolonged and debilitating, especially for older people. Shingles can also be life-changing as some patients don’t recover to the point where they’re well enough to return to independent living.

Marlborough Community Services phone numbers

Urgent 111, Non urgent Phone 5794870

After Hours Chemist
Springlands Pharmacy 9am – 6pm 7 days a week. Phone 5782271

Diabetes Marlborough
Office hours 9am – 3pm Monday until Thursday Phone 5775549

Marlborough Women’s Refuge Phone Wairau Hospital Phone 5209999 for contact number

Age Concern Phone 5793457

Blenheim Phone 5785279
Picton Phone 5203120
Havelock Phone 5742011

Alzheimer’s Marlborough Phone 5776172

St John Blenheim office Phone 5780797

Marlborough Health Hub Phone 5206200

St John Health Shuttle bookings Phone 0800 333 781