Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, and it can be quite unpleasant!
After a chickenpox infection, the virus can lie dormant in the nervous tissue but may reappear following reactivation as shingles. It is possible to have shingles more than once.
A universal shingles vaccination programme started in September 2013 which aims to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older people.
If you were born between 2 September 1942 and 1 September 1945 (ie aged 70-72) or 2 September 1935 and 1 September 1937 (ie aged 78 or 79) then you are eligible for vaccination this year.
Check with one of our pharmacists if you need to know more about which vaccinations you are entitled to as part of the NHS Immunisation Programme.