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Fleurieu at Higher Risk of Shingles – Sharkie MP.

April 10, 2024 7:34 am in by
Rebekha Sharkie in Parliament. Photo: supplied.

With up to 1,000 people in the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula waiting for shingles vaccinations, Independent Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie is urging the Federal Government to address an apparent lack of supply.

The Government announced that from 1 November 2023 two doses of the Shingrix shingles vaccine would be made available free of charge to all Australians over 65 years of age, as well as to other vulnerable groups. 

Despite a televised campaign to encourage vaccination, Sharkie said her constituents have reported they are having difficulty accessing the vaccine.

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“One patient tells me their local medical clinic added them to a 700 strong waiting list for the shingles vaccine, in January 2024. Three months later they have been told this has ballooned to over 1,000 patients,” Rebekha Sharkie MP said.

Medical practices in the region say that despite this huge demand even large practices are only allowed to apply for 50 doses of the free shingles vaccine per fortnight.

Sharkie has asked Health Minister Mark Butler in the Parliament what urgent steps the Federal Government is taking to ensure eligible members of the community can be vaccinated in a timely manner.

Most Aussies aged 50 and older are carrying the virus due to previous chickenpox infection and up to a third go on to develop the infection which can include painful rashes, hearing problems, pneumonia, blindness, and long-term nerve damage and pain.

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