Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful vesicular skin rash which is caused by reactivation of varicella zoster virus usually decades after the primary infection in childhood. Shingles lasts from between two to four weeks, however some people go on to develop post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is a long-lasting neuropathic pain. The risk and severity of shingles and related complications increases with age. It is important that GPs continue to offer shingles vaccine to eligible patients in order to prevent the burden of disease associated with shingles and long term pain complications.
Shingles vaccine coverage for Scotland in the fourth year of the programme is presented in this report. The coverage of the vaccine in both the routine and catch-up cohorts is compared with previous years of the programme. The impact of deprivation on uptake of the vaccine is also discussed.
In the 2016/17 programme the vaccine was offered to those aged 70 years old and to a catch-up cohort of those aged 76 years. In addition, the two age groups, introduced in February 2016 (those aged 77 and 78 years) continued as targeted catch-up cohorts as they had not previously been in the programme for a full year.