Patients aged 70-79 are set to be vaccinated against shingles under a new national immunisation programme
The UK is set to introduce the first nationwide vaccination programme in Europe against herpes zoster – or shingles.
The Department of Health has purchased supplies of the new Zostavax vaccine, which is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur MSD.
It follows advice in favour of vaccinating against shingles by the government’s expert advisory group the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
A DH spokesman said: “Our independent vaccination experts recommended in 2010 that we vaccinate people aged 70-79 year olds against shingles if we could get a vaccine at a cost effective price.
“We have now secured a supply of vaccine at a cost effective price and will announce more details about a vaccination programme in the coming months,” he said.
Nursing Times understands that the vaccine contract is for UK wide supply but Wales has not yet confirmed it will be implementing a programme.
GP practices will be paid £7.63 for every registered patient in the target age group that receives a shingles vaccine.
According to a statement from Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the the vaccine can be given “concomitantly with the seasonal flu vaccine”.
Zostavax is a single‐dose vaccine, licensed for use in adults aged 50 years and over. It has been used in the US since 2006 and in Canada since 2009.