Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Shingles vaccination for elderly

Thousands of older people across Northern Ireland will be offered a vaccine to help protect them against shingles through a UK-wide campaign launched this week.

Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus in a person who has previously had chickenpox.

It is not known what causes the virus to reactivate but this is usually associated with becoming older.

The virus affects between 900 and 1,000 people aged between 70 and 79 in Northern Ireland every year.

The Government-led programme launched this week will initially offer the vaccine to those aged 70, 78 and 79.

A catch-up programme for those aged 71-79 will also be introduced over the next few years beginning this October in Northern Ireland with all 79-year-olds.

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