Who can have the shingles vaccine?

You are eligible for the shingles vaccine if you were aged 70 or 78 years old on 1 September 2016.

From September 1 2016, the shingles vaccine will be routinely available to people aged 70 and, as a catch up, to those aged 78. Y

In addition, anyone who was eligible for immunisation in the previous three years of the programme but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday. This includes:

  • people aged 71, 72 and 73 on September 1 2016
  • people aged 79 on September 1 2016

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 and over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, though many people will find it convenient to have it at the same time as their annual flu vaccination.

Use this tool to find out if you are eligible for the free shingles vaccine.




Is there anyone who should not have the shingles vaccination?

You should not have the shingles vaccine if you:

  • have a weakened immune system (for example, because of cancer treatment, if you take steroid tablets or if you've had an organ transplant – your doctor will advise whether this applies to you)
  • you've had a serious allergic reaction (including an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of any of the substances in the vaccine, such as neomycin and gelatin – again, your GP can advise you if this applies to you
  • you've had a serious allergic reaction (including an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine
  • have an untreated TB infection  

The shingles vaccine and other vaccines

It's safe and may be more convenient for you to have the shingles vaccine at the same time as your flu vaccine in the autumn.

Get answers to some of the most common questions people ask about the shingles vaccine.



















Page last reviewed: 28/07/2015

Next review due: 28/07/2017


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Find out about shingles, a painful condition caused by the chickenpox virus

Shingles vaccination

An NHS vaccine to prevent shingles is available for people in their 70s

The flu jab

Flu is highly infectious – but the annual flu jab can help prevent it