02/09/2013

Shingles Vaccination Programme For Over 70s Begins

A new shingles vaccine is to be offer to the over 70s from this week, the government have announced.

In the first year of the programme, some 800,000 people aged 70, 78 and 79 will be eligible for the free government-led vaccine.

This will then expand over the coming years to include more people within the age group.

An infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it, shingles, or herpes zoster, can cause a painful rash. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickpox.

After treatment for chickenpox, some of the virus may survive and remain inactive in the body. As people age and their immune system weakens, the virus can be reactivated.

(MH/JP)

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