Shingles catch up programme

April 5th, 2019

Ends 31 March 2020

Adults who were aged 66–80 years inclusively on 1 April 2018 have a limited catch-up immunisation programme

Since 1 April 2018, one dose of Zostavax is funded for adults aged 65 years. A ‘catch-up’ programme is available for people aged from 66–80 years inclusively until 31 March 2020. Funded vaccine doses are only available through general practice.

Almost everyone is at risk of shingles because they are likely to have been exposed to the chickenpox virus. The virus lies dormant in the nerves near the spine and may re-emerge many years later as shingles.

Shingles most commonly affects older adults or people of any age with a weakened immune system. It is a painful, itchy skin rash that usually appears on your chest, but can also affect your trunk, back, legs or face.

One dose of Zostavax® is indicated for the prevention of shingles. It can be given to patients who have previously had shingles.

Zostavax is also available for individuals aged 50–64 years or 81 years or older to purchase through general practice and some pharmacies.

This vaccine contains a weakened form of the varicella-zoster virus, and as a live viral vaccine, is not suitable for some people with medical conditions or who are receiving treatments that affect their immune system. It is important to seek medical advice before receiving this vaccine.

More information

For more information visit The Immunisation Advisory Centre here.