Vaccination against Shingles (Zostavax)

The department of health has recommended that patients aged 70 (and 79 during the catch-up period) should be vaccinated against shingles.

Make an appointment with the practice nurse for a shingles vaccination.

What is Shingles?

Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is caused by the reactivation of an infection of a nerve and the area of skin that it serves, resulting in clusters of painful, 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.

What causes shingles?

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – varicella zoster. When you recover from chickenpox most of the virus is destroyed but some survives and lies inactive in the body in the nervous system. It can then reactivate later in life when your immune system is weakened by increasing age, stress or treatments that reduce your immunity.

Who will get the vaccine?

All people aged 70 on 1 September 2013 are eligible. People aged 79 will also be offered the vaccine in a catch-up programme.

At your appointment the nurse will assess your general health and will give the vaccination as long as there are no medical reasons not to give it.