Fast-tracking of proposals for shingles vaccine must be considered

  • NIAC has recommended an immunisation programme
  • Similar moves have been made in UK


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is calling on the government to approve funding for a national programme for immunisation against shingles.

It comes as the National Immunisation Advisory Committee has made a recommendation for a vaccination programme to be rolled out for over 50s and over 18s at higher risk.

“I am calling on the government to look at fast-tracking proposals for a national immunisation plan for shingles,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Many adults contract shingles each year, and it can be a very sore and debilitating illness lasting many weeks for older people in particular.

“A bad bout of shingles can keep a person bedbound and significantly reduce mobility.

“In Britain, the NHS provides free vaccinations against shingles for adults, and I would love to see a similar scheme rolled out here in Ireland.

“It’s estimated that the immunisation cost would be in the region of €500 per adult and this would give 10-year immunisation against the virus.

“I think that this represents good value for money and on the basis that it provides a decade of cover against the virus, works out at around €50 per annum, per adult.

“We have seen during the Covid pandemic how the state was able to quickly and significantly ramp up vaccination, and I think the capacity layers and indeed administration of vaccination that the state acquired in those years should not be lost.

“Potentially, immunisation against shingles could be part of a suite of vaccinations given annually to Ireland’s adult population.

“Any mitigation measure that keeps people out of the acute hospital system should be viewed in a very positive light.

“At the moment, the Health Technology Assessment is underway – and I’m hoping that this now gets approval in funding.”