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Zostavax resources for health professionals

Who can receive funded Zostavax®?

Adults who turned 65 years on or after 1 April 2018

  • There is no time limit for these adults to receive their funded Zostavax dose.
  • There is no upper age limit for these adults to receive a funded Zostavax dose.

Adults who were aged 65 years before 1 April 2018 and who are still aged under 81 years have a limited catch-up immunisation programme *EXTENDED TO 31 DECEMBER 2020*

  • There is a time limit and an age limit for these adults to receive a funded Zostavax dose.
  • These adults can receive a funded Zostavax dose up to and including the 31 December 2020*, or they turn 81 years of age, whichever occurs first.
  • *PHARMAC extended the duration of the catch-up programme in late 2019

Zostavax and annual influenza vaccination

  • Annual influenza immunisation is recommended and funded for adults aged 65 years or over.
  • One Zostavax is recommended for adults aged 65 years to under 80 years. This dose is also funded.
    • Zostavax and influenza vaccine can be administered at the same visit.
    • Zostavax is only given as a single dose – it IS NOT administered every year that an eligible adult receives their influenza vaccination.
  • When Zostavax and an influenza vaccination are administered to an eligible adult at the same visit from 1 April through 31 December:
    • The ability to claim an additional payment of $15 for administering Zostavax and influenza vaccines at the same visit that was introduced from 4 June 2018 will continue in 2019. Please contact your PHO on how to claim for these events.

Promotion of Zostavax and influenza vaccination at the same visit

For adults who were aged 66–80 years inclusively on 1 April 2018 and have not turned 81 years of age:

  • This year will be the last year they can receive a Zostavax and an influenza vaccination at the same visit.
  • These adults are only eligible to receive funded Zostavax up to and including the 31 December 2020.

Hormonal cancer treatments and Zostavax

The following hormonal cancer treatments do not cause immunosuppression:

Trade – Generic name

Generic – Trade name

Arimidex – Anastrazole Anastrazole – Arimidex
Bicalox – Bicalutamide Bicalutamide – Bicalox
Mestane – Exemestane Cyproterone – Procur, Siterone
Letara – Letrozole Exemestane – Mestane
Letrole – Letrozole Goserelin – Zolodex
Procur – Cyproterone Letrozole – Letara, Letrole
Siterone – Cyproterone Tamoxifen – Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen – Tamoxifen  
Zolodex – Goserelin  

Resource links

  Checklist for the shingles vaccines (Zostavax®) for patients

  Screening tool for the HZV (shingles) vaccine (Zostavax®) for health professionals


  Diseases and medications when live vaccines may be contraindicated

  Quick answers to frequent Zostavax® questions – November 2019

  Immunisation Handbook 2017 2nd Edition March 2018 (version 9) updated 1 July 2020

  • Chapter 4 Immunisation of special groups

    • Section 4.3.2 Primary immune deficiencies page 126
    • Section 4.3.3 Secondary (acquired) immune deficiences page 128
      • Individuals receiving corticosteroids
      • Table 4.2 Guidelines for live virus vaccine administration for individuals on high-dose corticosteroids
      • Other immunosuppressive agents
  • Chapter 22 Zoster (herpes zoster/shingles)

    • Section 22.5 Recommended immunisation schedule page 577
      • Table 22.1 Herpes zoster vaccine (HZV) recommendations
    • Section 22.5.2 Other considerations page 578
      • Individuals with a history of HZ (shingles)
      • Household contacts of immunocompromised individuals
      • Serological testing
    • Section 22.6 Contraindications and precautions page 580
      • Section 22.6.1 Contraindications
      • Section 22.6.2 Precautions
        • Table 22.2 Recommendations for use of herpes zoster vaccine for individuals on immunosuppressive therapy


  Immunisation for older people 2020 (HE2540)

  Immunisation for older people in te reo Māori 2020 (HE2541)


  Immunisation for older people - Large print 2020 (HE2548)


  After your immunisation Information for teenagers and adults following immunisation (HE2505)

  Prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) through immunisation


   Herpes zoster (shingles)

































Last updated: Sep 2020