What is Shingles?
Shingles, medically know as herpes zoster, is an infection of the nerves and the skin around it. It is caused by the chickenpox virus and usually affects a specific area on one side of the body and doesn’t actually cross over the middle of the body.
The main symptoms that come with shingles is a painful rash that often develops into itchy blisters. Shingles usually last for a few weeks. The virus can make everyday tasks difficult and is often more common in older people. Luckily a vaccine is available that will reduce the risk of shingles.
Do you need the Shingles Vaccine?
The vaccine to prevent shingles is often recommended for everyone who is over the age of 50. It is often a one shot vaccine and is available through different clinics like Park Health. Even if you have suffered from the virus in the past you can still get the vaccine but you usually have to wait for up to a year after the last episode in order to get the vaccine.
Are there any risks involved in getting the vaccine?
Shingles is not actually life threatening but it can be very painful and draining. Even when the rash goes you can still be left with pain in the section of the body. It can be set off by trivial everyday activities but overall the vaccine is very safe and only if you have a compromised immune system should you have a reason not to get the vaccine.
Who shouldn’t be getting the vaccine?
As well as those with a weakened immune system you also should not get the vaccine if you have a serious allergic reaction to substances in the vaccine. Your GP or health experts in the private healthcare Frimley sector will be able to advise you on whether you are suitable for the vaccine.
There are not usually any side effect that come with the vaccine but commonly there can be redness, pain and tenderness after you have the vaccine.
In very rare cases, some people can develop very severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis (more commonly known as swelling of the face). If you get any of these symptoms you should seek medical advice straight away.