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Private Shingles Vaccine in Oxford: What You Need to Know

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus in people who have had chickenpox before. It often affects older adults due to their weakened immunity. At Wheatley Pharmacy, we provide a private shingles vaccine in Oxford to help protect you against developing this condition. Unlike the NHS, there is no long waiting period required.

In this blog post, we will discuss key information about shingles, who should get the vaccine, how it works, and the importance of vaccination. Getting immunised is the best way to reduce your risk, so read on to learn all about private shingles vaccines and how our pharmacy can help keep you healthy.

Shingles Vaccination

What is Shingles?

Shingles is characterised by and include symptoms such as:

  • a painful, blistering skin rash (that usually appears on one side of the body)

  • headache and feeling unwell

  • one in five will get Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, which can last from up to three months to a year.

The rash occurs when dormant chickenpox (varicella zoster virus) is reactivated. This often happens when you have a weakened immune system due to factors such as age, stress, or certain medications. Shingles usually clears up in 2 to 4 weeks, but 1 in 5 people are left with debilitating nerve pain that can last months or years. As we age, our immunity against viruses declines, which is why shingles risk increases significantly in those over 50.

Shingles Vaccine Recommendations

The shingles vaccine is offered as part of the routine NHS immunisation schedule to people aged 70 to 79. It helps strengthen immunity against shingles, lowering your risk by around 90%. Two doses of the vaccine are given 2 to 6 months apart. The vaccine is also recommended for people aged 80 and over as a single dose. Even if you have had shingles before, the vaccine can help prevent future recurrences. People outside these age groups may also choose to get vaccinated privately due to having a higher shingles risk.

Getting the Shingles Vaccine Privately

As shingles vaccination is not routinely offered to those under 65 on the NHS, apart from anyone over 50 who is severely immunocompromised, many choose to get it done privately. At Wheatley Pharmacy, we provide private shingles vaccinations competitively priced at £225 per dose. There is no need to see your GP first. Our experienced pharmacists can assess your suitability, administer the vaccination, and issue a certificate - it is quick, easy, and convenient. We use Shingrix, which is the same vaccine given on the NHS. It is over 90% effective at preventing shingles in those aged 50 to 59 who receive two doses. Protection lasts for at least 5 years.

Who is Eligible for Private Vaccination?

The shingles vaccine can be given to healthy adults aged 50 years and over. It is ideally given from age 50 to 59 when protection levels are highest. Some younger people may choose to get vaccinated due to having a medical condition or taking medication that weakens their immune system. This includes those with HIV, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and organ transplant patients. Speak to our pharmacist to see if you are eligible.

Vaccine Side Effects

Side effects from the shingles vaccine are usually mild and temporary, lasting 2 to 3 days. The most common side effects are headache, redness/soreness at the injection site, and flu-like symptoms. Rare side effects include shingles-like skin rash near the injection site and allergic reactions. Speak to your pharmacist if you experience any worrying or persistent side effects after vaccination.

Importance of Vaccination

Shingles can be an extremely painful condition that causes many sufferers to lose quality of life. Vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of shingles and complications like long-term nerve pain. Do not delay - get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible for maximum protection. At Wheatley Pharmacy, you can get protected with no long waiting times. To book your private shingles vaccination or for more advice, contact our friendly pharmacy team today.

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