Are you
Shingles Aware?

Don't let shingles disrupt your routine

You may be eligible for a vaccination under the Shingles National Immunisation Programme - Ask your GP or practice nurse for more information

This website has been developed and is fully funded and maintained by the pharmaceutical company MSD. MSD manufactures the live vaccine recommended in the national immunisation programme for certain patients.

Check my eligibility

Watch Dr.Hilary Jones explain about

  • Your potential risk of developing shingles.
  • Who is eligible for the Shingles National Immunisation Programme.
What is Shingles?

What is Shingles?

Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. 90% of adults raised in the UK have had chickenpox, although not everyone may recall having it. If you have had chickenpox then you are at risk of developing shingles.

Your immune system gets weaker with age, which may be one of the reasons shingles risk and severity increases as we get older and tends to be more common in people aged over 70.

Shingles is characterised by a painful rash, usually affecting one side of the body.

What are the complications of Shingles?

Body with 2 plaster on belly icon.

The severity of the symptoms of shingles can range from mild to severe and can be very unpleasant for some.

Body with marks on belly icon.

Most people recover but it is estimated that 15-20% of people in their 70’s can go on to develop chronic nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN).

Body with icon on the chest.

Shingles complications could affect your daily routine and activities.


The Shingles National Immunisation Programme

  • In 2013, the Shingles National Immunisation Programme was introduced by the Department of Health. In September 2020, all eligible 70 to 79 year olds were included in the programme.
  • Vaccination is available at your local medical practice all year round and is usually one vaccination appointment.
  • Shingles vaccination may not result in protection in all vaccine recipients.
  • Like all vaccines and medicines, the shingles vaccination is associated with certain side effects, which can affect people differently. Further information can be found in the patient information leaflets and by speaking to your healthcare professional.
  • Shingles vaccination within the current shingles immunisation programme is not suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Your healthcare professional will be able to advise on this.

More information about chickenpox can be found via the NHS website:

Click here to Learn more

This website is totally independent from MSD and is signposted here for your information only


Eligibility test

Shingles vaccination within the current Shingles National Immunisation Programme is not suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Your healthcare professional will be able to advise on this.

Enter your date of birth and location below to find out whether you are within the age group eligible for vaccination this year.

Your date of birth?
Where do you live?
Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects with any medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the medicines package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at or by searching for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of medicines.

The information included on this site is for general educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

You should always consult your healthcare professional to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation, or if you have any questions/concerns regarding your health or treatment.

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