Shingles can be very painful and is more common among older people. The older you are, the worse it can be. For some, the pain caused by shingles can last for many years.
People who have a severely weakened immune system are also at higher risk of getting shingles and experiencing further complications from it.
Every year in Scotland, around 400 people aged 70 and over will be hospitalised due to shingles and related complications.
The shingles vaccine helps to build up your immunity to the virus. This means, if you do get shingles, your body will fight it off more easily.
Getting the recommended 2 doses of the vaccine will:
- reduce your risk of developing shingles by over 70%
- reduce your risk of experiencing long-term pain from shingles
- reduce your risk of being hospitalised with complications from shingles
Who is eligible for the shingles vaccine?
You’re eligible for the free shingles vaccine if, on 1 September 2023, you were aged:
- 71-79 (and have not previously had the vaccine)
If you’re not sure if your eligible, you can use the age eligibility calculator to check.
You’re also eligible to get the vaccine if you:
- have a severely weakened immune system and are aged 50 or over
- are about to start immunosuppressive therapy and are aged 50 or over
- have received a stem cell transplant and are aged 18 or over
- are having or have had CAR-T therapy and are aged 18 or over
What vaccine will be offered?
From September 2023, the Shingrix vaccine will be used in Scotland.
You can view the vaccine ingredients in the Shingrix patient information leaflet.
How do I get the shingles vaccine?
You’ll be contacted by your local health board when you’re eligible to be immunised. You can get the vaccine at any time of the year.
For more information on the shingles vaccine, please visit NHS Inform.