Call for free Shingles vaccine programme

The Government's being urged to introduction a free vaccination programme to combat Shingles in older people following a debate at the March meeting of Cavan County Council.

A joint motion was brought forward by Fianna Fáil councillors Clifford Kelly and John Paul Feeley asking that 'Cavan County Council calls on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, to introduce a vaccination programme for Shingles'.

Cllr Kelly began the discussion by highlighting the “serious infection” that the illness is.

“In the UK, a free vaccination programme for those over 65 years has been introduced,” he continued.

“I know people in my own area who have suffered very badly in later life from Shingles. At the moment, here in Ireland, there is a programme that comprises two injections, which costs €500 and there are many people who simply cannot afford that.

"Therefore, I think the Government needs to follow the UK model on this and introduce a free vaccination programme for people who need it. Young people get Shingles in the same way older people do.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Feeley pointed to the “long-term benefits” of a vaccination programme and added that it would be “money well spent”.

The motion subsequently received unanimous support and members resolved to write to the health minister on the issue.