08 April 2021
Islanders born in 1951 are now able to get their shingles vaccine. Anyone born in 1950 who did not get the vaccine last year due to COVID-19 guidance or shielding is also eligible to get it this year.
Letters have been sent from the Government's Preventative Programmes team to inform 70-year-olds to get the vaccine. Eligible Islanders should contact their GP surgery to make an appointment.
People only need to have the vaccination once and can have it at any time of the year. Islanders are advised to wait two weeks between their COVID-19 and shingles vaccines.
The painful skin disease most commonly occurs to people in their 70s. Symptoms are more severe in elderly people, and they have an increased risk of developing nerve pain which can stay for months or even years.
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, and Consultant Microbiologist, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "If you were born in 1951, or if you were born in 1950 and did not get your shingles vaccine last year, please contact your doctors surgery and make an appointment to get this important vaccine. It's a quick injection which you only need to have once.
"Those who have had shingles say they strongly recommend that their friends or relatives get vaccinated rather than suffer the pain that they experienced due to the virus. The older you are, the worse it can be, so please do get yourself protected.
"The surgery will charge a consultation fee to administer the injection, but the cost of the vaccine is funded by Health and Community Services. The vaccine itself would cost around £100 if Islander's were to purchase it privately.
"Since introducing the vaccine in 2013, the UK has seen the cases of shingles fall by 50% amongst the age group receiving the vaccine. This shows how worthwhile it is."
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Most people have chickenpox as a child. The virus then lies dormant in your body. As a person ages, the virus can become re-activated and cause shingles. You cannot catch shingles from someone else who has shingles or chickenpox.
Further information on eligibility and the vaccine is available at www.gov.je/shingles