Waltham Forest GPs urge people over 70s to get free shingles vaccine

GPs from NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging people who are 70, 78 and 79 years of age to take up the offer of a free shingles vaccine.

New data released by Public Health England shows that only around 40% of Londoners eligible for a free shingles vaccine have taken up the offer.

The vaccine is currently offered free on the NHS to people aged 70 years of age. This year people aged 78 or 79 years are also eligible for the free shingles vaccine as part of the catch-up campaign. It is estimated that around one in five people who have had chickenpox (usually in childhood) go on to develop shingles. That means that tens of thousands of people in England and Wales will get shingles each year.

The shingles vaccine is available year-round, and once vaccinated people are protected for at least five years. People who are registered with a GP will automatically be invited for a vaccination. The vaccination can be given at the same time as the flu jab.

Despite the vaccine being proven to significantly reduce the risk of getting shingles the low uptake in London is putting older people at risk of developing this painful infection caused by the shingles virus.

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