ZOOMER Magazine - - ADVOCACY -

While the flu is a sea­sonal ail­ment, shin­gles can strike an adult at any time, with se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions. Shin­gles is a virus that causes painful, blis­ter­ing rashes, among other de­bil­i­tat­ing symp­toms and if you’re one of the 90 per cent of Cana­di­ans who have had chick­en­pox, you are at risk. An es­ti­mated 130,000 Cana­di­ans de­velop shin­gles every year, the ef­fects of which are es­pe­cially dev­as­tat­ing on se­niors. “When we look at the im­pact on peo­ple’s lives, shin­gles can be so dev­as­tat­ing,” Wanda Mor­ris, vi­cepres­i­dent of ad­vo­cacy at CARP, re­cently told “This is some­thing we re­ally need gov­ern­ment to look at.” While it is not yet cov­ered provin­cially, it costs about $250. Since many se­niors can’t af­ford that price tag, CARP is calling on gov­ern­ments to cover a new shin­gles vac­cine. “Older Cana­di­ans should have the pro­tec­tion they de­serve un­der our health-care sys­tem,” says Laura Tam­blyn Watts, CARP’s na­tional di­rec­tor of law, pol­icy and re­search.

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