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Safety Alert: Zostavax Vaccine – NOT to be used in people with compromised immune function

23 December 2020: 

Professor Paul Kelly, the Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Government Department of Health, has issued the following notice regarding the Zostavax vaccine for prevention of shingles.

pdfCMO letter re Zostavax 22 Dec 2020176.56 KB

Zostavax is a live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus vaccine that is administered for prevention of shingles. This vaccine is registered for use in Australia for people aged more than 50 years, and is available under the National Immunisation Program for people aged 70-79 years.

Zostavax  must NOT be given to people with current or recent severe immunocompromising conditions from either a primary or acquired medical condition or medical treatment. This includes people who:

  • Are immunocompromised
  • Have medical conditions that place them at risk of immunocompromise
  • Are receiving low doses of immunosuppressive medication.

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