Who can have the shingles vaccine?
Anyone aged 70 on September 1 2013 (born between 2/9/42 and 1/9/43) is eligible for the new shingles vaccine on the NHS.
If you were aged 79 on September 1 2013 (born between 2/9/33 and 1/9/34), you will also be able to have the shingles vaccine on the NHS as part of a catch-up programme.
If you were aged 71 to 78 on September 1 2013, your next opportunity to have the shingles vaccine will be when you reach the age of 79. The reason the shingles vaccination programme is being staggered this way, is that it would be impractical to vaccinate everyone in their 70s in a single year.
Anyone aged 80 and over on September 1 2013 will not be able to have the shingles vaccination on the NHS because it seems to be less effective as you get older. However, there may be some people aged 79 on September 1 2013 who will have turned 80 by the time they attend for vaccination, and they remain entitled to receive the vaccine.
Who should not have the shingles vaccination?
You should not have the shingles vaccine if you:
- have a weakened immune system (for example, because of cancer treatment, if you take steroid tablets, if you've had your spleen removed, or if you've had an organ transplant – your doctor will advise whether this applies to you)
- you've had a serious allergic reaction (including an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of any of the substances in the vaccine, such as neomycin and gelatin – again, your GP can advise you if this applies to you
- you've had a serious allergic reaction (including an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine
- have an untreated TB infection