National Shingles Immunisation Programme

In September 2013, a new national immunisation programme was introduced by the Department of Health for people in certain age groups to help protect those most at risk from Shingles. Shingles is a condition that is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Once you have had chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in your nervous system and later in life can reactivate and cause Shingles. Shingles is most common and tends to be more severe in people aged over 70 years as the immune system weakens with age.

You're eligible for the shingles vaccine if you're 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.

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 and over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, as soon as you turn 70 or 78.

Other age groups will be introduced in the future to ensure all people aged 70 to 79 are offered vaccination against Shingles. People under 70 will be offered the Shingles vaccination when they turn 70. People aged 80 and over are not part of the national programme.

If you are eligible for a Shingles vaccination this year, please contact the surgery to make an appointment.