Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccine 

A vaccine to prevent shingles, a common, painful skin disease, is available to certain people on the NHS.

The shingles vaccine is given as an injection into the upper arm. Unlike the flu vaccine, you’ll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year.

From September 2023 most people will receive a vaccine that requires 2 doses six months apart, however, you may be offered the vaccine that only requires 1 dose while stocks last.

The shingles vaccine is expected to reduce your risk of getting shingles. If you do go on to have the disease, your symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter.

Shingles can be very painful and uncomfortable. Some people are left with pain lasting for years after the initial rash has healed. Shingles can also be fatal for around 1 in 1,000 over-70s who develop it.

It’s fine to have the shingles vaccine if you’ve already had shingles. The shingles vaccine works very well in people who have had shingles before, and it will boost your immunity against further shingles attacks. Your GP will tell you how long to wait after you recover from shingles before having the shingles vaccine. This may be up to 1 year.

Who can have the shingles vaccination?

You’re eligible for the shingles vaccine if:

– You are aged 70 to 79.

– You turn 65 on or after the 1st September 2023 (those born on or after 01/09/1958 as long as you have had your 65th birthday)

– You are aged 50 or over and have a severely weakened immune system

The shingles vaccine is being rolled out to more age groups gradually over the next 10 years so that by September 2033 everyone between 60-80 years will be eligible. 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.

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