Shingles vaccine: Shingrix will be the new funded brand

Brand change Discontinuation Active

Zostavax shingles vaccine is being discontinued. We are pleased to have secured an alternative brand of the zoster vaccine, Shingrix.

Why is this happening?

The supplier of the currently funded Zostavax brand vaccine has advised us that it has discontinued the supply of this product. Once all of the stock is exhausted, Pharmac will fund the Shingrix vaccine for people who are 65 years old.

When will Shingrix be available?

Both brands were listed in the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 August 2022, but the Shingrix vaccine will only be made available for funded patients once all stock of Zostavax has been used. We expect this to be in August or September 2022.

Schedule listings for shingles vaccines(external link)

Immunisation providers should continue to use their current stock of Zostavax and continue to order Zostavax until it is no longer available from the Regional Vaccine Store. Zostavax will continue to be listed in the Pharmaceutical Schedule for several months so that providers can use up all Zostavax stock they have on hand.

Eligibility rules

Like Zostavax, people who are 65 years of age are eligible for a funded course of Shingrix vaccine. Shingrix requires two doses given 6 months apart. As long as the person being vaccinated is 65 when they receive their first dose, both doses will be funded.

Pharmac first funded the zoster vaccine for shingles prevention (Zostavax) from 1 April 2018. This included an initial 2-year catch up programme for those aged from 66 to 80. The catch up programme was extended twice and ran until 1 December 2021.

Eligibility review

Our Immunisation Advisory Committee considered funding eligibility for the Shingrix brand of the shingles vaccine in May 2022, and we expect to publish the record of this meeting in August. Any recommendations for changes to eligibility will then be progressed through our application assessment process.

Specialist Advisory Committee records

OIA response with more detail around our decision to limit access to people aged 65

Who to contact

If you have any questions about the funding of these vaccines, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz