Public encouraged to accept offer of shingles vaccine

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is encouraging those eligible to get vaccinated and protect themselves from developing shingles.
Everyone eligible is being urged to get vaccinated..Everyone eligible is being urged to get vaccinated..
Everyone eligible is being urged to get vaccinated..

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox which can become active again later in life.

The vaccine helps build up immunity and reduces the risk of developing shingles by over 70%. This is especially important for older people as the virus is more likely to become active again among them and can also be more painful.

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Local health boards have been inviting all those currently eligible by letter to come forward for their free shingles vaccination since January and include:-

People who were aged 65 or 70 on 1 September 2023

71-79 year olds not previously vaccinated

Those aged 50 or over, about to start immunosuppressive therapy or with a severely weakened immune system

Those aged 18 or over who have received a stem cell transplant

Those aged 18 or over who have CAR-T therapy

Dr Sam Ghebrehewet, PHS’s Head of Immunisation and Vaccination, said that those offered the treatment should take it up to avoid the condition in the first instance and possible complications arising from it.

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He said: “Around 400 people aged 70 and over are hospitalised due to shingles related complications every year in Scotland.

"The shingles vaccine is a safe and effective way of reducing the likelihood of getting shingles.

“As well as reducing your risk of getting shingles, taking up the offer of the vaccine reduces your risk of experiencing long term pain and being hospitalised.

"Public Health Scotland continues to work closely with all health boards to ensure as many people as possible receive their shingles vaccine and protect themselves from shingles and its complications, such as post-herpetic neuralgia, where nerve pain lasts for several months after the shingles rash has gone.”

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The main symptom of shingles is pain followed by a rash. Speak to your local pharmacist if you think you have symptoms of shingles and are 18 years or older.

More information is available on NHS Inform at