P.E.I. government won't commit to paying for shingles vaccine
$200-a-dose shot so far not the main priority for vaccine coverage
The P.E.I. government says it's not ready to pay for shingles vaccines for Islanders.
Shingles occurs when a virus that causes chicken pox resurfaces with age, and can cause months of tenderness or pain.
The opposition pressed Health Minister Robert Henderson in the Legislature Tuesday, asking why the vaccine isn't covered.
"I've had the opportunity to have the discussions with the chief public health officer," answered Henderson. "It's about a $200-a-dose cost."
Henderson said if the province provided all Islanders between 65 and 69 a shingles vaccine, the cost would be $1.2 million, plus $500,000 every year after that.
Opposition MLA James Aylward agreed that the vaccine is expensive.
He pointed out that's why many Island seniors on limited incomes would need help paying for the shot.