A vaccine to prevent shingles, a common, painful skin disease is available on the NHS to people in their 70s.
The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection into the upper arm. Unlike the flu jab, you’ll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year.
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 is also 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.
Who can have the shingles vaccination?
You are eligible for the shingles vaccine if you are aged 70 or 78 years old.
In addition, anyone who was previously eligible but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday.
You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, as soon as you turn 70 or 78.
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.
Find out more about who is eligible for shingles vaccination.
How do I get the shingles vaccine?
Once you become eligible for shingles vaccination your doctor will take the opportunity to vaccinate you when you attend the surgery for general reasons or for your annual flu vaccination.
If you are worried that you may miss out on the shingles vaccination, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment to have the vaccine.
Read more information about shingles vaccine at www.nhs.uk