Pharma giant GSX: Make live-saving shingles vaccine Shingrix available in Australia

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Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful blistering rash that can last for months and usually affects older people, especially those with weakened immune systems. I’m an immuno-compromised cancer patient and I’m at high risk of getting shingles. The pharmaceutical giant, GSK (Glaxo Smith Kline) is refusing to make the vaccine for small markets like Australia where their profit margin is low.

I’m calling on the global pharmaceutical company to make Shingrix, the hugely effective shingles vaccine available to Australians now. The company has a duty to make at least a small number of vaccine doses available to those most at risk, in all countries.

Currently, we have the Zostavax vaccine available which is only 51% effective in preventing the disease in my age group, as opposed to Shingrix, which has a 90% protection rate. Only recently, an immuno-compromised person died after receiving the Zostavac vaccine. I am afraid for my health and possibly my life but I shouldn’t be - GSK must make the vaccine available here.

Shingrix was already approved for PBS in Australia last year. GSK claims to not have enough supply of the vaccine to meet the global demand. It appears they have made a comfortable commercial decision to supply countries like the USA where profit margins are high. It’s unfair for people like me to be missing out on this life-saving vaccine.

Please sign and share the petition calling on GSK to distribute the Shingrix vaccine more equitably across the world.