Shingles Vaccination Information
What is Shingles?
Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the reactivation of the Chickenpox virus, varicella-zoster virus (VZV), in people who have previously had Chickenpox. Shingles is a painful acute inflammation of the nerve ganglia with a skin eruption in the area supplied by the nerve affected. Most people have Chickenpox in their childhood but after the illness has gone, the virus remains dormant in the nervous system. The body’s immune system (our natural defense system) pretty much keeps the virus in check, but later in life it can be reactivated causing Shingles.
Shingles – The Facts
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and can happen to anyone who’s had chickenpox
Your risk of getting Shingles increases greatly with age
Shingles can be a painful, blistering rash
The Shingles rash can last up to 30 days and can bring on a severe, stabbing pain. However, this isn’t always the first sign of Shingles
In some people, pain can last once the rash has resolved. This is called ‘post-herpetic neuralgia’
Who gets Shingles?
Shingles can affect anyone that has had Chickenpox but is more common in people from the age of 50. The Shingles virus is also more common in women than in men increasing with age.
Can you catch Shingles?
No, you can’t ‘catch’ shingles. Shingles comes on when there’s a reactivation of the chickenpox virus that is already present in your body. Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. It’s estimated that around one in five people who have had chickenpox can go on to develop shingles.
Can you catch Chickenpox from Shingles?
Yes, if you have not had Chickenpox in the past and have direct contact with fluid in the blisters of the rash, you can catch Chickenpox. If you do not have contact with the rash, however, you are not at risk.
What are the Symptoms of Shingles?
Although not every sufferer will experience the same symptoms, early symptoms of Shingles can include numbness, itching, tingling or a burning sensation in one part of the body or face. After experiencing these symptoms a rash may appear. This is usually a single red, sore band around one side of the body or face. The rash will then form an itchy blister-like sore filling with a clear fluid. The blisters will scab over within 7 to 10 days, gradually growing smaller and fading before disappearing. Shingles symptoms commonly last between 2 to 4 weeks. In some people, the pain can persist once the rash has resolved and require prolonged pain control medication. The pain can also worsen as the case of Shingles develops. For some, the pain can be sharp, stabbing, and intense. It may also cause hypersensitivity. Other symptoms can include:
Nausea and a general feeling of being unwell
The Shingles Vaccine
Is there a Shingles vaccination?
Yes. The Shingles Vaccines in the UK is called Zostavax. Patients cannot get shingles from this vaccine, but may have a very small chance of getting Chickenpox, about 1-10,000. Patients can be vaccinated even if they have not had or cannot remember having had chickenpox. It can be given at any time of the year and offered on the NHS to people aged 70 or 79.
However, Dr Kelly & Associates recognises the need for the Shingles vaccine to be available to people of a younger age and is able to administer the Shingles vaccine to individuals aged 50 and over at our City based.
Why wasn’t the Shingles vaccine available before now?
The Shingles Vaccine was licensed in 2006 but was only made available privately in 2012. The NHS started offering it to patients aged 70 and above in September 2013. Limited supplies of the Shingles vaccine are now available at Dr Kelly & Associates
Where can I get the Shingles vaccine?
Dr Kelly & Associates has been providing private & corporate healthcare services and vaccinations for over 25 years. If you wish to discuss the Shingles vaccine or want to book an appointment and receive the Shingles vaccine please do not hesitate to call us on 020 7638 2999.