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Shingles and shingles immunisation


Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox the virus remains in their body, lying dormant or hidden in part of the nervous system where it is kept in check by the immune system.

Anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles but it is most common in people over the age of 50.

Read more about shingles, including the signs, symptoms, and treatments here.


Vaccination can help protect against shingles. A shingles vaccine is routinely offered to everyone aged 70 to 79 years of age. Individuals become eligible on their 70th birthday and remain eligible until their 80th birthday.

Some people under 70 who are at high risk of developing shingles may also be offered the vaccine by their doctor.

More information

You will find more information about shingles vaccination here.

More comprehensive information for health professionals about immunisation and vaccination is available to NHS Wales users on the Public Health Wales Immunisation and Vaccination Intranet site.

More information about vaccines is included in the Public Health England 'Immunisation Against Infectious Diseases' policy and guidance handbook (The 'Green Book') which is available at: here.

The Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre produces interactive data dashboards on diseases and infections here.