In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)

Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the HPV vaccine.

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26.

Both vaccines can now be administered at local pharmacies free of charge.

“Making the shingles and HPV vaccines available free of charge for eligible Yukoners is another way our government is investing in preventative health care and the wellbeing of Yukoners,” Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said in a statement.

“This is a direct response to recommendations made in the Putting People First and Aging in Place What We Heard report. By including the shingles vaccine and expanding the HPV vaccine in Yukon’s publicly funded immunization program, we will help protect those who are highly susceptible to contracting these diseases.”

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox and causes a painful rash. The shingles vaccine significantly lowers the risk of getting shingles and reduces the chance of complications, the government noted in its statement.

HPV is a common virus spread mainly through sexual contact. It is related to almost all cases of cervical cancer and many other HPV-related cancers in both males and females, it was noted.

Those eligible for the shingles vaccine will need to get a prescription from their doctor or nurse practitioner.

The HPV vaccine does not require a prescription and is already provided in schools starting in Grade 6. Those who missed vaccination through school or did not receive the required two or three doses (depending on their age) can make an appointment through their local pharmacy to get it.

Those living in communities without a rural dispensary or pharmacy will need to come to Whitehorse to receive either vaccine. Those visits will be covered by the Yukon Medical Travel program with pharmacists or physicians that see the patients to confirm the visit by submitting the medical travel subsidy form.

The Government of Yukon is encouraging any Yukoners receiving the HPV or shingles vaccines to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about their vaccination schedule to ensure they are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine not be administered with a different vaccine for a period of at least 14 days prior to or 28 days after.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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