People over the age of 70 are to be offered routine shingles vaccinations in a move to prevent thousands of cases each year, officials said.
The viral infection affects more than 30,000 pensioners in England every year, but experts hope that a new vaccination programme could cut out 40% of cases.
The Department of Health has announced that people aged 70 will be able to get the Zostavax vaccine on the NHS from September, and that people aged up to 79 will be able to take part in a "catch up programme".
At present, some pay between £150 and £200 to get the jab privately.
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