Cause and symptoms of shingles
Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is caused by the dormant chickenpox virus spreading to an area of skin served by one of the nerves. It results in clusters of extremely painful and itchy, fluid-filled blisters. These blisters can burst and turn into sores that eventually crust over and heal. These blisters usually affect an area on one side of the body, most commonly the chest, but sometimes also the head, face and eye.
Who is eligible for the shingles vaccine?
From 1 September 2023, the vaccine programme is being offered to the following:
- healthy people aged 70 to 79 years who have not yet been vaccinated
- people aged 50 years and over with a severely weakened immune system
- healthy people aged 60 to 70 years will become eligible for the vaccine over the next 5 years, when they turn 65 or 70 years
You will remain eligible for the shingles vaccine until your 80th birthday, unless you have a weakened immune system; people with a severely weakened immune system remain eligible for vaccine. The sooner you have the vaccine, the earlier you will be protected.
Contact the Surgery to book an appointment if you are eligible for a vaccination.