Vaccines for Adults

Shingles

Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox the virus remains in their body, lying dormant or hidden in part of the nervous system where it is kept in check by the immune system.

All individuals that have previously had chickenpox remain at risk of developing shingles at some point in their lifetime.

As shingles occurs more frequently and tends to be more severe in older people, routine vaccination to provide protection against shingles for people aged 70 years was introduced in Wales on 1 September 2013. A 'catch up' vaccination programme for those age 79 years was also started on the same date.

On 1 September 2013 a shingles vaccination programme for people aged 70-79 years was introduced in Wales. The introduction was phased, with those aged 70 and 79 years eligible in the first year.

The programme has been further expanded each year to include a larger group of older people.

If you want to know more about the shingles vaccine please contact the surgery to speak to our Practice Nurse.  We do offer the vaccine routinely to patients that qualify during our flu vaccination campaign that starts in August each year.

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus Pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis.  A pneumococcal infection can affect anyone however adults over the age of 65 need the pneumococcal vaccination because they are at a higher risk of complications.

Most people over 65 only need a single pneumococcal vaccination which will protect for life.  It is not given annually like the flu jab.  Some people with a long term health condition may need a  five-yearly booster, your Practice Nurse will advise you.

More than 90 different strains of the pneumococcal bacterium have been identified, though only 8 and 10 of them cause the most serious infections.  The adult vaccine (PPV) protects against 23 strains.  The pneumococcal vaccine is though to be around 50-70% effective at preventing pneumococcal disease. 

Like most vaccines, the pneumococcal vaccine can sometimes cause mild side effects, including: a mild fever, redness at the site of injection or hardness or swelling at the site of the injection.  There are no serious side effects listed apart from an extremely small risk of a serious allergic reaction. 

If you would like to receive the pneumococcal vaccine, please contact the surgery to arrange an appointment with the Practice Nurse.   



 
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