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Are you eligible for a free Shingles Vaccine?

You are entitled to a FREE vaccine against Shingles if you are between 65 and 80 years of age.

From this April onwards, all 65 year olds will be the Shingles vaccine free of charge.

For the next two years only, those aged between 65 and 80 years are eligible. Don’t miss out as after this time only 65 year olds will be eligible. You can have the vaccine even if you have already had Shingles.

Can everyone receive the Shingles vaccine?

No. Some people will not be able to receive the vaccine due to conditions they have, or medications they are taking. This will be discussed with you prior to any vaccination being given.

What is Shingles?

Shingles is the common name for the Herpes zoster virus, which is why the vaccination is called Zostavax.

After contact with chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in nerves near the spine.

When the immune system is not able to control the dormant virus, it can travel along a nerve to the skin; the infection erupts on the skin as a localized, painful, blistered rash.

Shingles symptoms often appear when you are experiencing stress or illness and have a weakened immune system.

What are the symptoms of Shingles?

  • Pain or altered sensation, such as burning, itching or tingling for a few days prior to the rash, followed by acute throbbing or burning.
  • Fatigue, fever and headache may occur
  • Localized rash on one side of the body (in the area associated with the affected nerve)
  • Fluid filled blisters at the rash site
  • Sometimes shingles can also be debilitating, both before and after the rash has appeared.
  • Even relatively mild herpes zoster (shingles) can make every day activities much more difficult for a couple of days.
  • The pain and discomfort lasts for days or even weeks for many people.

Who is at risk of Shingles?

Almost everyone! If you have ever been exposed to chickenpox, even if you had no symptoms, the chances are you are at risk of shingles.

Vaccine Side Effects

All vaccines can have side effects, however Zostavax is generally well tolerated.

Some common responses include: redness, itching and/or pain around the injection site, headache. Very rarely a more severe reaction can occur.

If you would like any further information please give us a call or some in and talk to a nurse. Alternatively, you can read more about Shingles here.

At Wakefield Health Centre, we are offering Zostavax for our over 65 – 80 year olds from mid April onwards. Once the vaccinations arrive we will publicise it on our Facebook page and website, or you are welcome to contact us.