The shingles vaccine helps protect against shingles. It’s recommended for people at higher risk from shingles, including all adults turning 65, those aged 70 to 79 and those aged 50 and over with a severely weakened immune system.
What the shingles vaccine is for
Shingles is a common condition that causes a painful rash. It can sometimes lead to serious problems such as long-lasting pain, hearing loss or blindness.
You’re more likely to get shingles, and it’s more likely to cause serious problems, as you get older or if you have a severely weakened immune system.
The shingles vaccine helps:
- reduce your chances of getting shingles
- reduce your chances of getting serious problems if you do get shingles
Who should have the shingles vaccine
The shingles vaccine is recommended for some older adults and people with a severely weakened immune system.
From 1 September 2023, you’re eligible for the shingles vaccine when you turn 65.
You’ll be offered 2 doses of the vaccine. These are given between 6 and 12 months apart.
Your GP should contact you to make an appointment to have your shingles vaccine. Contact your GP surgery if you think you’re eligible for the shingles vaccine and you’ve not been contacted about it.
You’ll remain eligible until your 80th birthday.
If you turned 65 before 1 September 2023, you’ll be eligible for the shingles vaccine when you turn 70.
Everyone aged 70 to 79 is eligible for the shingles vaccine.
Depending on the type of vaccine you have, you’ll have either 1 dose or 2 doses (given between 6 and 12 months apart).
Contact your GP surgery if you missed your vaccine. You’re eligible up until your 80th birthday.
You’re eligible for the shingles vaccine if you’re aged 50 or over and you’re at higher risk from shingles because you have a severely weakened immune system.
- some people with blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
- some people with HIV or AIDS
- some people who’ve recently had a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or an organ transplant
- people taking certain medicines that severely weaken the immune system
You’ll be given 2 doses of the shingles vaccine. These are given between 8 weeks and 6 months apart.
Ask your GP or care team if you’re not sure if you’re eligible for the shingles vaccine.
You can get shingles more than once, so it’s important to get vaccinated even if you’ve had shingles before.