Reminder to get shingles vaccination

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Friday, February 12th, 2016
Shingles can be very painful and in some cases cause serious complications. That’s why the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding all those eligible to get the free shingles vaccine if they haven’t done so already. phaThe vaccine will help protect against this common and painful skin disease and its associated complications. The vaccine will be offered routinely to people who were aged 70 years on or before 1 September 2015 – ie born between 2 September 1944 and 1 September 1945 inclusive; and as part of a catch-up programme, also to those aged 78 on or before 1 September 2015 – ie born between 2 September 1936 and 1 September 1937 inclusive. It is given as a single injection in the upper arm but, unlike the flu vaccine, you only need to have it once. The vaccine will then continue to be rolled out to other people in their seventies in future years. Dr Lucy Jessop, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said, “Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, some of the virus remains inactive in your body and nervous system. “It can then reactivate in later life when your immune system is weakened with about a quarter of adults getting shingles at some point in their life. “For most people, shingles can be a mild infection with good recovery. But it can be very painful and uncomfortable and tends to affect people more commonly as they get older. The older people are, the worse it can be, with some people left with pain lasting for years after the initial rash has healed. She added, “I would recommend anyone in the eligible age groups to contact their GP to arrange to have the vaccine if they haven’t received it already.” For further information see
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