Shingles....Why Vaccinate?

on Wednesday, 30 November 2016. Posted in blog

The importance of vaccinating against shingles

Shingles....Why Vaccinate?

Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, it s estimated that 1 in 4 of us will have an episode at least once in our lifetime.

Shingles is caused by the Varicella-zoster virus which also causes chickenpox.  Following a dose of chickenpox (usually in childhood) this virus remains dormant within the nevous system until it is re-activated in later life. 

This painful rash which begins as a burning sensation in the skin, followed by a rash of fluid filled blisters which may burst and turn into sores is mostly prevalent in the over 50 s and whilst it s not really known what re-activates it, reduced immunity, age and physical and emotional stress are thought to contribute.

The Shingles vaccine (Zostavax) increases protection against the infection to 85% and vastly alleviates the symptoms in those unfortunate enough still to develop the virus.

Whilst the NHS offers an immunisation programme to those aged over 70, it s widely considered prudent for anyone over 50 to be immunised in order to avoid this very painful virus. Here at Southdowns we have been successfully immunising against Shingles since 2008. Call on 033 022 02000 to arrange an appointment and get protected. You can choose to be seen at either of our Hampshire or West Sussex clinics.

Shingles vaccine for over 50s

on Monday, 25 May 2015. Posted in blog

Shingles vaccine for over 50s


The NHS currently offers Zostavax to those aged 70, 78 and 79 (the latter two as a catch up) as part of the national vaccination programme. This is because Shingles is most common in people who are in their 70's.

Pain, fatigue and tingling

However there are many younger people that are affected by this virus and Shingles can be an really painful experience, a blistering rash accompanied by pain, fatigue and tingling that can last for weeks and make life really quite unpleasant. 

Herpes Zoster Virus

The herpes zoster virus which causes both chicken pox and shingles can lie dormant in the body and can erupt as shingles at any point in life. It is particularly likely to become active under times of stress when your immune system is weakened. The vaccine works very well in those that already carry the virus - preventing it from leading to Shingles or at least making the symptoms milder and the illness shorter.

Complications of Shingles

Post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), is a particularly nasty after effect of Shingles, which can last anywhere from weeks to years. PHN is the pain left behind even after the rash disappears. Approximately 13 percent of people 60 years of age and older will develop PHN.

First signs of shingles

If you are unlucky enough to develop Shingles it is important it is to seek medical attention at the first signs. The risk of developing post-herpetic neuralgia is reduced by 50% if a patient begins taking antiviral medications within 72 hours of developing the rash.

Southdowns Private Healthcare offers the Shingles vaccination to suitable patients over the age of 50.


Call us now on 01243 388712 to book your vaccination.

Making time for your health

At Southdowns we believe that giving our patients time to discuss their health is a critical factor in good health.

Our consultations are unhurried, allowing us to fully explore your concerns and talk through any issues you want to discuss.

Patient Confidentiality

We do not share any information about our clients with anyone else, unless you give expressed permission. Unlike the NHS we operate an “opt-in” policy regarding data sharing, meaning that unless told otherwise we will not share your details with any third parties.