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Help protect yourparents

The Department of Health introduced the national shingles immunisation programme for people aged 70 to 79 to help protect those age groups who are most at risk from shingles and its complications. The immunisation programme is being introduced in phases.

Age Eligibility Calculator

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

Shingles vaccination within the current national immunisation programme is contraindicated in people with certain medical conditions. Your parents' healthcare professional will be able to provide advice on this.

Your parents looked after you, now it’s your turn to help look after them: ask them to speak to their healthcare professional about the programme.

Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. It is characterised by a painful rash, usually affecting one side of the upper body. The pain may be a constant dull or burning sensation, and its intensity can vary from mild to severe.

couple holding hands

It is not fully understood why the virus reactivates in some people and not others, but it is thought to be due to a weaker immune system. The immune system changes and naturally weakens with age and so the chance of developing shingles increases as we get older.

Most people recover but an estimated 15-20% of people in their seventies who develop shingles go on to develop long-term nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). This can be a severe, unpleasant, long-term nerve pain that is often described as burning, stabbing or throbbing, it can last weeks, months or for a few people, even years and can be difficult to manage.

Learn more about shingles

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 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.
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Your parent was aged


on 1st  September 2017
This means you are currently
not eligible
to receive a free shingles
vaccination as part of the
national programme.
 For more information on the national shingles immunisation programme and eligible patient cohorts for this year,click here.

Please speak to your GP or practice nurse if you require any further advice.
GB-CIN-00009 11/18