Vaccine updates

Shingles Vaccine (Shingrix and Zostavax)


there are now two shingles vaccines available in Canada since the introduction of Shingrix in early 2018. Zostavax has been available for several years, and if you had shingles vaccine before 2018, that is the one you received.


Shingrix is clearly a more effective vaccine (Over 90% effective in all age groups tested). The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (a Canadian expert group that makes science-based recommendations about vaccines) recommends this vaccine for all adults ages 50 and up. Shingrix can be given to people who previously had Zostavax.

It costs about $320 for 2 Shingrix shots (given 2-6 months apart). If past experience is any indicator, the Ministry of Health will not make a prompt funding decision about this vaccine, so you should consider paying for it if you can afford to. if cost is an issue, Zostavax remains funded for people ages 65-70. Keep in mind that Zostavax is not nearly as effective, and there is evidence that the protection wears off after several years.

If you would like to get Shingrix, you can call the office and we will order it from your pharmacy. We can administer the shots at the office when you bring them in (OHIP covers the service of giving the shot), or you can pay a fee to your pharmacist to administer the shots.