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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Shingles Vaccination

If you’re aged 70 or above, you may receive a letter from your GP inviting you for a vaccination to protect you from shingles, something the public health team would strongly encourage you to accept.

GP practices across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are writing to eligible patients to ensure older people are protected from the nasty, debilitating and, in some cases, long lasting illness.

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. A bout of chickenpox does not protect you from shingles; the virus remains in your system and can be reactivated when the immune system is weakened – something which happens as we get older.

Shingles consists of a very itchy, painful rash that commonly affects one area of the body. It can also affect nerves, including those in the face and eyes. Before the rash breaks out, people often feel tired and run-down and may have a slight fever.

For some people, the pain of shingles can persist for several months, or even years, after the rash has disappeared. Complications of shingles can also be fatal for around 1 in 1,000 over-70s who develop the illness. This is why it is so important that eligible people take up the offer and get vaccinated against the virus.