The UK Health Security Agency announced that as of September 1, the Shingrix vaccine will be available for people who are 70 to 79 years of age with weakened immune systems to help protect them against shingles.
Shingrix, a non-live vaccine, is now available as an alternative to the current vaccine, Zostavax, which is not suitable for people who have weakened immune systems. Your doctor can advise whether this applies to you.
By having the 2 dose, two months apart Shingrix vaccination you will significantly reduce your chance of developing shingles. And if you do go on to have shingles, the symptoms are likely to be milder and the illness shorter than if you had not had the vaccination.
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.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus) in people who have previously had chickenpox.
You do not “catch” shingles – it comes on when there’s a reawakening of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body. The virus can be reactivated because of a range of issues, including advancing age, medicine, illness or stress.
Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. It’s estimated that around 1 in 5 people who have had chickenpox go on to develop shingles.
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