ALMOST a million more Brits are to become eligible for a shingles jab from next week.
The lifesaving vaccine is currently only offered to people over the age of 70.
But from September 1, the NHS will roll it out to another 900,000 people.
It comes as new trial data by vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline suggest the jab is 100 per cent effective at preventing the disease in people over the age of 50.
Shingles is an infection that causes a painful rash on the chest and tummy, as well as headaches and a feeling of being generally unwell.
Nine in ten Brits already have the virus that causes shingles, having previously had chickenpox which stays in the body for a lifetime.
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Years later, the virus may reactive as Shingles.
And around one in four will go on to Shingles in their lifetime, and the risk of this increases with age.
The bug can result in serious symptoms such as blindness, hearing loss, nerve pain and potentially death, according to NHS England (NHSE),
But getting jabbed can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the deadly infection and experiencing nasty symptoms.
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Am I eligible?
Two doses of the Shingrix vaccine will be offered to those turning 65 and 70 will also be able to get the jab after their birthday.
People with weakened immune systems over the age of 50 will also be included in the roll out.
Eligible patients will be contacted by their GP about getting jabbed.
NHSE also plans on expanding eligibility for the shingles vaccine to those aged 60 and over by September 2028.
What are the symptoms of Shingles?
Shingles symptoms usually affect only a small section on one side of your body.
These symptoms may include:
- Pain, burning or tingling
- Sensitivity to touch
- A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
Some people also experience:
- Sensitivity to light
Pain is the first symptom of shingles.
And for some people, the pain can be intense.
Depending on where the pain crops up in the body, itcan sometimes be mistaken for problems with the heart, lungs or kidneys.
Others experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.
Source: Mayo Clinic
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