About the shingles vaccine
Shingles is a viral infection of the nerve and surrounding skin, also known as herpes zoster. It is caused by a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Some of the symptoms of shingles are similar to the symptoms of chickenpox. They include a high temperature or fever, a headache and a characteristic rash which can be painful or itchy.
While you will usually only get chickenpox once in your life, the virus that causes it remains in your body. If it becomes active again at a later date, it causes shingles rather than chickenpox.
Your risk of getting shingles increases with age and you are more likely to get it if your immune system is weakened, for example due to illness or a medical procedure. While you can’t catch shingles from someone with chicken pox or shingles, you can pass on the chickenpox virus while you’re experiencing a bout of shingles.
The shingles vaccine protects against shingles and effectively reduces your risk of developing the condition. It is possible to develop shingles even if you have had the vaccine. If this happens, your symptoms should be milder and pass quicker as a result of the vaccination.
The shingles vaccine is not designed to protect against chickenpox.
We offer vaccination to prevent shingles with the highly effective new non-live shingles vaccine.
We also offer the live vaccination which is a single dose