Our shingles vaccination service is temporarily unavailable. We'll update this page soon with information about the service and details of how to book an appointment.

Shingles vaccination
Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Find out everything there is to know about the shingles vaccine.

Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.

It’s estimated that around 1 in every 4 people will have at least one episode of shingles during their life.

What are the symptoms of shingles?

The main symptom of shingles is pain, followed by a rash that develops into itchy blisters, similar in appearance to chickenpox.

New blisters may appear for up to a week. After a few days, blisters will become yellowish in colour, flatten and dry out. Scabs then form where the blisters were. These scabs may leave some slight scarring after the infection has gone.

The pain may be a constant, dull or burning sensation and its intensity can vary from mild to severe. You may have sharp stabbing pains from time to time, and the affected area of skin will usually be tender.

It can take up to 4 weeks for the rash to heal, but your skin can be painful for weeks after the rash has gone.

Who is the shingles vaccination service suitable for?

This service may be suitable for you if you:

  • Are aged 50 or over*
  • Have not already had the vaccine
  • Have not had an allergic reaction to the vaccine before
  • Are not immunocompromised
  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding.

*Patients aged between 70 and 79 can have a free NHS shingles vaccine from their GP.

Who is at risk of shingles?

The risk of shingles increases as you get older. And the older you are, the worse the infection can be.

The shingles rash can be extremely painful, to the extent that sufferers cannot even bear the feeling of their clothes touching the affected skin.

Some people are left with pain lasting for years after the initial rash has healed.

How do I book an appointment?

Our shingles vaccination service is temporarily unavailable. We'll update this page soon with details of how to book an appointment.

Where can I find a vaccination clinic near me?

We operate 760 local pharmacies across the UK.

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