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One in four people will get shingles in their lifetime. Almost all adults in the UK have had chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus. The virus can reactivate later in life to cause shingles.

Shingles infection can cause

  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling unwell
  • Raised temperature
  • A painful rash (of fluid filled blisters in one area of the body)

Sometimes shingles affects the eye or the skin around the eye, this can cause severe pain or even blindness.

After the rash has gone some older people have ongoing pain, which can last 6 -12 months, for some older people even longer.

The pain of shingles

The pain is often described as a burning sensation, stabbing or throbbing. It can be severe and is difficult to treat. Long term pain is more likely in older people.

Protect yourself from the pain of shingles

The shingles vaccine protects older people from shingles and the severe long term pain that can follow and linger.

Shingles vaccination

Help us raise the profile of the shingles vaccine with older people in Wales. Currently uptake of the shingles vaccine is only around 50% so lots of older people are missing out on this protection.

David who is 73 shares his experience of having shingles.

The video is intended to support the routine shingles vaccination programme for older people in Wales, please share widely with you networks and service users.

An information leaflet ‘Shingles vaccination for those aged 70 -79’ is also available, you can download this from below.

Vaccine Eligibility Checker

Routine shingles vaccination for older people was introduced in Wales in 2013 and is being rolled out in phases. In time it will be available for everyone aged 70 to 79.

Not sure if the shingles vaccination is for you?

Why not check the shingles vaccination eligibility checker

You can enter your date of birth into a box to see if you are eligible to have a free shingles vaccine this year. A response will be generated based on your date of birth.

Further information


You may find the following document(s) useful

You can download other guides and factsheets from our list of publications

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice 08000 223 444

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