If you are planning to travel outside of the UK and think you may need travel vaccinations, please click HERE for further information.
The Shingles Vaccination
The purpose of the Shingles vaccination programme is to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older people. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles is a common disease that can cause long-lasting, severe pain. It can cause permanent disability, and it occurs more frequently in those over 70 years old, who are also more likely to have worse symptoms.
All eligible patients will receive letters to book an appointment, if they would like to be vaccinated.
This is not a drop-in service, you must book an appointment.
If you already have an appointment booked with the practice nurse and would like to have your vaccine during that consultation, please advise the nurse at your appointment.
Who is eligible?
- The vaccine is currently being offered to those who are aged 70, 78 and 79, as well as people who were eligible last year but have not yet had the vaccination.
- If you are 79 you will only be eligible up until your 80th birthday.
Anyone aged 80 and over is unsuitable to have the shingles vaccination on the NHS because it seems to be less effective in this age group.
You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, though many people will find it convenient to have it at the same time as their annual flu vaccination.
Who is not eligible?
- If you have a weakened immune system (for example, because of cancer treatment, if you take steroid tablets or if you've had an organ transplant – your doctor will advise whether this applies to you)
- If you have 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
- If you have had a serious allergic reaction (including an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine
- If you have an untreated TB infection
MMR vaccination is routinely given to children as part of the NHS childhood immunisation programme. It can also be given on the NHS to older children and adults and babies over six months of age that need to be protected against measles, mumps and rubella and/or in the event of a measles outbreak.
Protecting your child against measles
You may be aware that there has been an increase in the number of measles cases in England with some local outbreaks.
Measles can cause very serious illness
Measles usually causes a runny nose, red eyes, cough, high temperature and rash. It can also cause complications including ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and convulsions. It is more likely to be serious in pregnant women, people whose immunity is not working properly and babies under a year of age. Very serious complications, such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) are rare, but can be fatal.
Measles spreads very easily
Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known. You can catch measles if you spend 15 minutes with someone who has the disease. The measles virus is spread through the air and in tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth of an infected person.
MMR vaccine provides safe and effective protection against measles, mumps and rubella
MMR vaccine has been shown across the world to be a safe and effective way of preventing measles. It can protect your child and others against measles infection and its serious consequences.
What you can do now
In light of the recent measles activity across the country, we strongly recommend that your child has had two doses of MMR vaccine which is the best way to protect your child against measles, mumps and rubella.
To make an appointment for your child to have the vaccine, or to answer any queries, please contact the surgery on 01244 564319.
There is more information on measles on the NHS Choices website.
We do hope you will take this opportunity to ensure your child is fully protected.
Vaccines and Porcine Gelatine
For information about porcine gelatine and its use in vaccines, please view our Q&A: Vaccines and Porcine Gelatine