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Vaccine for shingles a step closer

1st February 2010

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised the government that it should offer people aged 70-79 the vaccine against shingles.

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Offering jabs to people in this age group could reduce the number of cases of the disease by 50%, said patient groups.

Shingles infects around a quarter of a million people in the UK annually and can cause extremely painful nerve damage.

The shingles virus is the same one that causes chickenpox in children. It can be triggered when the immune system is not working properly, and causes sores and rashes.

Around 100,000 people every year go on to suffer from 'postherpetic pain' caused by nerve damage.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said that it needed to investigate to ensure that the vaccine was cost effective.

The Department of Health calculated that around four million people in the UK could be given the jab. A spokesman said that the vaccination programme would "ideally" begin before the end of 2010.

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "Shingles is an unpleasant illness which can be very serious, especially for older people."

"A vaccination programme would be good news for those in their 70s - it would improve people's quality of life by offering protection against this illness."

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Wednesday 10th February 2010 @ 23:25

But could this vaccine cause problems to some people? (Coventry resident).


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