woman receiving jag

What is Shingles?

Shingles is caused by a virus called varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. When you recover from chickenpox most of this virus is destroyed, but some survives and lies inactive in your body’s nervous system.

The virus can then become active again later in life, when your immune system has been weakened by age, stress, illness or certain treatments that can reduce your immunity.

Please note: The Shingles vaccination programme in Fife started in January 2024. The vaccine is given in two doses and all eligible people should receive a letter offering an appointment for their first dose by the end of June 2024. The second dose will be offered a minimum of eight weeks later. 

Shingles Vaccination

As with other vaccines, the shingles vaccine works by helping to reduce your risk of developing shingles. If you do get shingles, it can reduce how serious the symptoms will be.

From 1st September 2023 the following groups are eligible for Shingles vaccination in Scotland:

  • People aged 50 or over, about to start immunosuppressive therapy.
  • People aged 50 or over, with a severely weakened immune system.
  • People aged 70 (on 1 September 2023) and those people aged 71-79 who have not previously been vaccinated.
  • People aged 65 (on or before 1 September 2023).

The offer will then expand to those turning both 60 and 65 years old. By 2033 the vaccine will be routinely offered to everyone aged 60 and over.

This means that people aged 66-69 on the 1st September 2023 will become eligible for vaccination from the 1st September after their 70th birthday.

Eligibility calculator

Find out if you are eligible for the vaccination using the eligibility calculator.

Shingles vaccine eligibility flyer 

View the criteria here 

Related content

NHS Inform | Shingles vaccine