Cost: £140

Who is this vaccine for?

  The shingles vaccine is suitable for patients aged 50 years and over who have either had chickenpox or have received the chickenpox vaccine in the past.

Your risk of getting shingles increases with age and the shingles vaccine reduces your risk of developing the condition. It is possible to develop shingles even if you have had the vaccine. If this happens, your symptoms should be milder and quicker recovery.

What is shingles?

Shingles is an infection of the nerves and adjacent skin the official name is herpes zoster and is simply a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (virus that causes chickenpox). They share similar effects such as high temperatures, headaches and a painful or itchy rash.

Normally you will get chickenpox only once in your life however the virus (varicella-zoster virus) that causes it will remain in your body.

At some point in your life this virus may reactivate and this is then called ‘Shingles’.

Is this available on the NHS?

You’re eligible for a free shingles vaccine from the NHS  if you are aged 70 to 79 only. We will advise you if you can get it free. You can still have the vaccine if you are over 80 years of age however the NHS wont fund it and you will need to arrange with us to have the vaccine.

Any advice after I have had the vaccine?

You may have side effects such as : Headaches, Digestive problems, Mild rash, Pain, redness, itching, and/or swelling at the injection site, Irritability, Loss of appetite ,Muscle or joint pain and Pain or swelling of the lymph nodes

If you do develop a rash – keep it covered and  avoid contact with vulnerable adults within 4–6 weeks of vaccination. 

If side effects do not disappear or you experiences other severe symptoms then contact your General Practitioner, call NHS 111 or visit A&E.

Can I give others shingles?

You cant catch shingles. You cant pass on shingles.

As the virus is the same as chickenpox – you can pass on the virus to somebody who hasn’t had chickenpox before and they may experience chickenpox.

I have never had chickenpox before – will it protect me from both?

The shingles vaccine is not designed to protect against chickenpox and if you have never had chickenpox before then you are not at risk of developing shingles. In this instance, you could benefit from the chickenpox vaccine.

I have had shingles before – will I still benefit?

Yes, you can still have the shingles vaccine if you’ve had shingles. However, you should wait until your symptoms have stopped before you are considered for the shingles vaccine. You will be unable to have the shingles vaccination if you have had one or more episodes of shingles in the last 12 months.

Pregnancy or breastfeeding?

The vaccine is not suitable for you if you are pregnant or trying for a baby. You need to use contraception for at least 4 weeks after having received the vaccine. The vaccine is not advised for breastfeeding women.

Other medical issues:

The vaccine also won’t be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications. This may be the case if you are taking medicines that affect your immune system or if you have recently taken medication for herpes.

The pharmacist will check your medical history and ensure the vaccine is safe and beneficial for you before administering the injection.

If you are ill on the day of your appointment the vaccination will be rescheduled.