The Department of Health has written to healthcare colleagues about the shingles immunisation programme from September 2016.
From the 1st September 2016 shingles vaccine should be offered to patients aged 70 or 78 years on the 1st September 2016. In addition, patients who have been eligible in previous years but remain unvaccinated may also be offered the vaccine. This would include anyone aged 71 to 73 or 79 on the 1st September 2016.
Anyone who reaches their 80th birthday is no longer eligible for the vaccine due to the reducing efficacy of the vaccine as age increases.
The letter also notes that by the end of March 2016 just under half of eligible 70 and 78 year olds had been vaccinated against shingles. It is noted that this is a "significant achievement
and one that we can improve on".
Action: Clinicians should be aware of the age cohorts for the shingles immunisation programme and offer vaccination from September.