The New Non-Live Shingles Vaccine: SHINGRIX
We have established a limited supply of the new shingles vaccine – Shingrix manufactured by GSK. Shingrix is a vaccine used to protect adults aged 50 years and over against shingles (herpes zoster) and post-herpetic neuralgia (long-lasting nerve pain following shingles). This vaccine is imported for us under UK regulations by one of the most established medicines importers in the UK. It is not clear when the manufacturer will be able to make enough Shingrix to launch it in the UK. This vaccine is authorised in all EU member states, however, the manufacturer has only manged to launch it in one EU country. This is because, currently the supply is considerably less than the high levels of demand for this vaccine.
For more information about Shingrix, visit the following official websites:
- http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Product_Information/human/004336/WC500246550.pdf [Please read page 25 to 28: Package leaflet: Information for the user]
To manage this limited supply appropriately, we have to charge you for the full course in advance when you book your first appointment over the phone. The cost is £230 per dose (£460 for the full course of two vaccines given two months apart – no other fees). The vaccination course consists of 2 doses given 2-6 months apart.
The stock / appointment is going to be allocated on first come first serve basis.
To book an appointment, please call 020 7435 7075. We cannot arrange appointments via email.
Currently we have appointments, Mon-Fri (17:30 to 18:30) and Saturday (09:00 to 15:00) clinics.
We are based at 35 South End Road, London, NW3 2PY (right opposite the Hampstead Heath Overground Station).
Is the new shingles vaccine (Shingrix) available on the NHS?
No. Currently the old shingles vaccine (Zostavax) offered on the NHS for over 70s only, which is significantly less effective than the new vaccine. Only Shingrix delivers >90% efficacy against shingles regardless of age in those 50 years and older.
Can the new non-live shingles vaccine (Shingrix) be given to immunocompromised individuals?
Can someone who has experienced an episode of shingles be vaccinated with shingles vaccine?
Yes. Adults with a history of shingles should receive the new shingles vaccine. If a person is experiencing an episode of shingles, vaccination should be delayed until the acute phase of the illness is over and symptoms abate.
Can the new shingles vaccine be given to people who have already received the old version? If so what interval should separate them?
Yes. It is recommended that people who previously received the old shingles vaccine, receive two doses of the new shingles vaccine. The first dose of the new shingles vaccine should be given at least 2 months after the old version given.
Is there an upper age limit for receipt of shingles vaccine?
There is no upper age limit for either shingles vaccine.
Do you need to have the new shingles vaccine every year?
No, it is a one-off course of two injections. The vaccine can safely be given at the same time as the seasonal flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine.
Can it be given at the same time as other vaccines?
Yes. The vaccine can safely be given at the same time or any time before or after other vaccines including the seasonal flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine.
How safe is the new shingles vaccine?
There is good evidence showing that the new shingles vaccine is very safe. It is already been used in three countries, and no safety concerns have been raised. The vaccine has few side effects.
Will there be any side effects from the shingles vaccination?
It is quite common to experience redness and discomfort at the vaccination site as well as headaches, but these side effects shouldn’t last more than a few days.
How is the new shingles vaccine given?
It is given as an injection into the upper arm.
Who will be able to have the old shingles vaccination (Zostavax) free on NHS from their GP practice?
The shingles vaccine is licensed for those aged 50 but it is only available on the NHS for certain ages. See the who’s eligible for shingles vaccination? poster.
The new shingles vaccine is about twice more effective than the previous version.
Yes. The new shingles vaccine works very well in people who have had shingles before and it will boost your immunity against further shingles attacks.
Do I need the shingles vaccine if I’ve never had chickenpox?
Yes. The chances are that you have had chickenpox at some point without knowing it. Some people have chickenpox without displaying any of the typical chickenpox symptoms like rash.
You don’t “catch” shingles – it comes on when there is a reactivation of chickenpox virus that is already in your body. After you have recovered from chickenpox the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in your nerve cells and can reactivate at a later stage when your immune system is weakened. Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles.
Shingles is more common and often more complicated in people with suppressed immune system i.e. immunosuppressive therapy, HIV infection, cancer and/or increasing age.
What is post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN)?
After the shingles blisters heal, pain can last for months or years and may be severe. This long-lasting nerve pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN.
Is shingles serious?
Yes, it can be. Not only can shingles be very painful and uncomfortable, some people are left with long-lasting pain called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) for years after the initial rash has healed. Very occasionally, shingles can be fatal.
Shingles, in some cases, disseminate into the lungs, liver, gut, and brain, leading to pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis. Disseminated shingles is more likely to occur in those who are severely immunocompromised, with a case fatality rate reported to be between 5 and 15%, and most deaths being attributable to pneumonia.
How common is shingles?
It is estimated that around one in five people who have had chickenpox (usually in childhood) go on to develop shingles. That means that tens of thousands of people in England and Wales will get shingles each year. The United States department of health states that “about 1 out of every 3 people in the US will develop shingles in their lifetime“.