NHS Service

What are the Reasons the New Shingles Vaccine Needs to be Taken Twice?

Shingles-Vaccination

In the early years of the 21st century, the UK government introduced a vaccination program to protect older people against Shingles. This vaccination is available to people in their 70s via the NHS. Touchwood Pharmacy offer the shingles vaccination at their clinics in Streatham and Northolt, we also offer the shingles vaccination at our health clinic in Northampton.

Eligibility for the shingles vaccine is based on age  – the vaccine is routinely offered to people aged between 70 and 79 – and is just a single vaccination not requiring annual repetition consideration for the time of year the vaccine is being administered.

The shingles vaccination is not a total prevention against the disease but if you do go on to contract shingles, then the symptoms are likely to be milder and less uncomfortable and the illness shorter in duration.

Why does the new shingles vaccine have to be taken twice?
There are two types of vaccine available for shingles, the Shingrix vaccine and the Zoster vaccine.  The Zoster vaccine is called Zostavax and is a live vaccine administered as one sole dose, whereas the Shingrix vaccine is a non-live vaccine and is given as two doses, two months apart.  Most people will have the Zoster vaccine but Zostavax is not suitable for everyone, for instance, it may not be recommended to people who suffer from conditions which weaken their immune system. The Zoster vaccine contains a weakened chickenpox virus and is similar to the chickenpox vaccine.

People with weakened immune systems cannot have live vaccines so they will be offered the Shingrix vaccine which is non-live and is administered as two separate doses. The Shingrix vaccine also contains an ingredient called an adjuvant which helps to boost the immune response to the vaccine. Your healthcare professional can advise on which vaccine may suit you best.

Touchwood Pharmacy provides the shingles vaccination at our health clinics in Northolt and Streatham, as well as the shingles vaccination at their clinic in Northampton. Find out more information about how to protect yourself from shingles and which vaccine may be suitable for you on our websitewww.touchwoodpharmacy.com