The following information is taken from NHS Choices website. It was correct at September 2017, but will be subject to change.
For more detailed information, and lots more health related information on lots of topics please visit the NHS Choices website.
To find out more about the Shingles vaccine: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/vaccination-schedule-age-checklist.aspx
These vaccinations are available for patients who are:
- Age 70 - 74 if born after 1st September 1942
- Are 78 and 79
The shingles vaccine is given to prevent shingles, a common, painful skin disease is available on the NHS to certain people in their 70s.
The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection into the upper arm. Unlike the flu jab, you'll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year.
The shingles vaccine is expected to reduce your risk of getting shingles. If you are unlucky enough to go on to have the disease, your symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter.
It's fine to have the shingles vaccine if you've already had shingles. The shingles vaccine works very well in people who have had shingles before and it will boost your immunity against further shingles attacks.
Who can have the shingles vaccination?
You are eligible for the shingles vaccine if you are aged 70 or 78 years old.
In addition, anyone who was eligible for immunisation in the previous three years of the programme but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday. This includes:
- people in their 70s who were born after 1 September 1942
- people aged 79 years
The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS if you are aged 80 or over.
You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, though many people will find it convenient to have it at the same time as their annual flu vaccination.
How does the shingles vaccine work?
The vaccine contains a weakened chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus). It's similar, but not identical to, the chickenpox vaccine.
Very occasionally, people have developed a chickenpox-like illness following shingles vaccination (fewer than 1 in 10,000 individuals).
How long will the shingles vaccine protect me for?
It's difficult to be precise, but research suggests the shingles vaccine will protect you for at least five years, probably longer.
How is shingles spread?
You don't "catch" shingles – it comes on when there's a reawakening of chickenpox virus that's already in your body. The virus can be reactivated because of advancing age, medication, illness or stress and so on.
Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. It's estimated that around one in five people who have had chickenpox go on to develop shingles.
To find out more about the Pneumococcal vaccine: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/pneumococcal-vaccination.aspx
Who should have the pneumococcal vaccine?
A pneumococcal infection can affect anyone. However, some people are at higher risk of serious illness and can be given the pneumococcal vaccination on the NHS. These include:
- adults aged 65 or over
children and adults with certain long-term health conditions, such as a serious heart or kidney condition
How often is the pneumococcal vaccine given?
Babies receive the pneumococcal vaccine as three separate injections, at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and one year old.
People over 65 only need a single pneumococcal vaccination, which will protect for life. It is not given annually like the flu jab.
People with a long-term health condition may need just a single one-off pneumococcal vaccination or five-yearly vaccination, depending on their underlying health problem.
The different types of pneumonia vaccine
The type of pneumococcal vaccine you are given depends on your age and health. The two types are:
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) - this is used to vaccinate children under two years old as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. It's known by the brand name Prevenar 13.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) – this is given to people aged 65 and over, and to people at high risk due to long-term health conditions.