The National Shingles Vaccine Programme
Shingles is a viral infection of the nerve cells that develops as a result of a chickenpox infection. Once a person has recovered from chickenpox the virus lies dormant in the nerve cells and can reactivate at a later stage when the immune system is weakened.
The incidence of shingles increases with age and the severity of symptoms also increases as individuals get older.
The shingles vaccine (know as Zostavax) is a one-off vaccination, it is not given annually like the flu jab. Eligible patients can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, but it may be more convenient receive it at the same time as your flu vaccine.
Who Can Have the Shingles Vaccination?
You’re eligible for the shingles vaccine if you are aged 70 or 78 years old.
In addition, anyone who was previously eligible (born on or after September 2 1942) but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday.
Please note, the shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.
If you are eligible and you have yet to be contacted by the surgery regarding the shingles vaccine, please contact us and book an appointment with a Nurse to receive your vaccine.
You can find more information regarding the National Shingles Vaccine Programme on The NHS Website.