Free shingles jab for pensioners

Free shingles jab for pensioners

Some pensioners in Northern Ireland will be offered a injection against shingles from September.

The programme will target people aged 70 and 79 in the beginning, in a bid to prevent thousands of cases a year.

The scheme is also being rolled out in England and Scotland. Wales will target those in their late 70s only.

Over the next few years, the scheme will be rolled out to include everyone over the age of 70 in Northern Ireland.

An episode of shingles can last up to four weeks and causes a painful rash in the affected area.

Any part of the body can be affected, but the chest and abdomen are the most common areas.

Painful limbs and exhaustion are some of the other symptoms.

Professor David Salisbury,from the Department of Health, said: "Shingles is really unpleasant, it's a painful, distressing condition.

"And we see again around 14,000 cases of shingles a year - around 1,400 need hospital admission."

© UTV

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