Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin supplied by the nerve. It is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past may develop shingles. Shingles is sometimes called herpes zoster. About 1 in 5 people have shingles at some time in their life. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in people over the age of 50.
There is now a vaccine which can help protect against the varicella-zoster virus and has been shown in large studies to be effective in reducing the risk of older people developing shingles. The vaccine has been shown to be safe with very few side-effects.
The current vaccination program has been rolling out since 2013 and this year extends to those who are aged 70, 71, 72, 78 or 79 on 1st September 2015. If you are eligible please contact the surgery and make an appointment for your vaccination.