Zostavax is the recommended vaccine to immunise yourself against shingles. Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that may result in scarring. The blisters can persist for several weeks. They often break out in one part of the body. The nerve pain that comes from shingles can last for months or even years after the rash heals. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, varicella-zoster. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles late in life, although the most significant risk factor for developing shingles is age. Around 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime.
Unlike influenza shingles is not seasonal, and so it is not essential that you are immunised before winter.
Zostavax has been available until now as a paid vaccination, but it has recently become funded for adults who are 65, including a catch-up period until 2020 for those aged 65-80 inclusive.
Due to the complexity around delivering the Zostavax vaccine, we are offering this immunisation to our patients from 1 June 2018. If you would like this vaccination either get in touch with us now and we'll make sure to let you know once the Zostavax clinics are available, or simply book your appointment later in the year.