Shingles vaccine now free for Ontario seniors between 65 and 70

TORONTO — Ontario seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 can now get the shingles vaccine for free.

The Liberal government is spending $68 million over three years to publicly fund the vaccine, which will save eligible seniors about $170.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins says it will reduce the likelihood of seniors getting the painful infection and reduce visits to hospitals.

Shingles affects more than 42,000 people every year in Ontario and can cause various complications such as vision loss and nerve pain.

The government says studies show the vaccine is “highly effective” when administered in that age group.

About 850,000 seniors will be eligible and can get the vaccination from their primary care doctor or nurse practitioner.