SHINGLES VACCINE NOW AVAILABLE TO THOSE
AGED 70 AND 79.
All people aged 70 on 1st September 2013 are eligible (i.e. all those born between 2nd September 1942 and 1st September 1943, inclusive). People aged 79 on 1st September 2013 will also be offered the vaccination in a catch-up programme (i.e. all those born between 2nd September 1933 and 1st September 1934, inclusive). Other age groups will be introduced in future years to ensure all people aged 70 to 79 are offered the vaccination against shingles.
People under 70 will be offered the shingles vaccine in the year following their seventieth birthday. People aged 80 and over are not part of the national programme because the vaccine is less effective in this age group.
If you've ever had chicken pox, you could be at risk of developing shingles
Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a condition that is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Once you've had chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in your nervous system and later in life can reactivate and cause shingles. It is not fully known what causes the virus to reactivate, but this often occurs many years after the original chickenpox infection. Shingles tends to occur more often in older people and usually causes a painful rash on one side of the body.
How likely am I to get shingles?
Around 1 in 4 adults could develop shingles in their lifetime. The immune system weakens with age and so the chance of developing shingles increases as we get older. It is most common and tends to be more severe in people aged over 70 years.
For more information about shingles, treatment of shingles and the shingles vaccination: