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  1. ITV Report

70 year olds in Jersey being urged to get shingles vaccine

Credit: ITV Channel TV

People in Jersey who are eligible to receive the shingles vaccine are being urged to do so after medical evidence from the UK showed it offers protection from the infection.

Anyone in Jersey who is in the year of their 70th birthday is eligible for the vaccination. 981 islanders born in 1949 have already received letters recommending they are immunised.

Before the vaccination was introduced in Jersey there were 80 to 90 cases of the infection per year among 70-79 year olds.

More than 5500 residents have had the vaccination since it was introduced in 2016.

A member of Jersey's Health and Community Services has said that once people receive the letter to receive the injection, they should make an appointment with their surgery.

It's a quick injection and you only need to have this vaccine once.... Shingles is a very painful condition and whilst it can occur at any age, it's those in their 70s that are most likely to suffer from the condition. This age group are more likely to suffer from shingles for longer and have an increased risk of complications, such as ongoing nerve pain. There is no cure for shingles, so preventing the condition by having the vaccination is, by far, the best option.

– Dr Linda Diggle, Head of Preventive Programmes at Health and Community Services

Islanders will be charged a consultation fee at their surgeries to administer the injection but the cost of the vaccine is funded by Health and Community Services which would cost £100 each if individuals purchased it privately.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and even though most people have it as children, it remains dormant in their body.

As a person ages it can become re-activated and turn into shingles.

It usually lasts between two and four weeks but can lead to complications, such as severe nerve pain which can persist for months or even years.

For more information about those who are eligible for the shingles vaccine, people are being advised to go to gov.je/shingles.