About the shingles vaccine
Shingles usually occurs in your 70's and the best way to prevent it is by having the vaccine in the year you turn 70.
The vaccine is not routinely offered earlier. This is because the protection offered by the vaccine needs to last during the years you're most vulnerable to having shingles.
There are 2 shingles vaccines:
- Zostavax which is 1 vaccine, 1 dose
- Shingrix which is given as a 2 dose programme, 2 months apart
Most people will have the Zostavax vaccine. The Shingrix vaccine is recommended for those having a weakened immune system through medication or treatment, your GP will advise you.
Zostavax information leaflet on Medicines website
Shingrix information leaflet on Medicines website
It's quite common to get redness and discomfort at the injection site and you may also get headaches. These side effects are generally mild and don't last long.
Speak to your GP if these symptoms last longer than a few days after having the shingles vaccine.
Who can have the shingles vaccine
The vaccine is offered to Islanders during the year they turn 70 of age, for example:
If you missed out on getting the vaccine contact your GP surgery.
The vaccine cannot be given to anyone aged 80 or over as it isn't as effective at this age.
If you've already had shingles
You can have the shingles vaccine even if you've already had shingles. The vaccine will boost your immunity against further shingles attacks.
Where to get the vaccine
You can make an appointment at your GP surgery.
Cost of the vaccine
The vaccine is funded by the Health department. Your GP may charge a consultation fee to give the vaccine.
Who should not have the shingles vaccine
You should not have the shingles vaccine if:
you have had a serious allergic reaction (an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of any of the substances in the vaccine, such as neomycin and gelatine
you have had a serious allergic reaction (an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine
you have an untreated TB infection
About shingles disease
is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. The main symptom is followed by a rash that develops into blisters, similar in appearance to chicken pox
usually lasts between 2 and 4 weeks. The older you are, the worse it can be. It can lead to complications, such as severe nerve pain, which can last for months or even years
is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (herpes varicella-zoster virus). After you get chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in your body. As we age, it can become re-activated and cause shingles
can't be caught from someone else with shingles or from someone with chicken-pox
is more common in the over 70s
Around 1 in 4 adults will get shingles in their lifetime. Before introduction of the vaccine, Jersey had 80 to 90 cases of shingles per year among 70 to 79 year olds. Having the vaccine will reduce the number of people developing shingles.
Shingles on the NHS website
Shingles frequently asked questions on the NHS website