Over 70s offered shingles jabs

02 May 2013 10:00

Shingles inoculations will be available on the NHS to over 70s from September

Shingles inoculations will be available on the NHS to over 70s from September

The NHS is to offer people aged over 70 shingles vaccinations in a new preventative initiative. With more than 30,000 pensioners affected by shingles every year in England, it is hoped the scheme could reduce the number of annual cases by 40%.

People who qualify could be administered the Zostavax vaccine from September, while the Department of Health (DoH) revealed a catch-up programme will be offered to those people aged up to 79. Older people who are travelling to overseas destinations where shingles could be contracted might want to purchase seniors travel insurance cover for peace of mind.

The cost of receiving a shingles inoculatation through a private healthcare provider could be as much as £200.

A DoH spokesman said 800,000 people will qualify to have the free jab in the first year the scheme is in existence. Shingles, an infection that causes a painful rash that develops into itchy blisters, can occur at any age but is most common in people aged over 50.

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