Over 70s urged to take up shingles vaccine

Published on Oct 26, 2018

Over 70s in Scarborough and Ryedale are being urged to get vaccinated against shingles.

Eligibility depends on age and date of birth, but anyone born after 1 September 1942 is eligible on their 70th birthday and remains eligible up until they are 80. Patients born before this will become eligible on their 78th birthday and will also remain eligible up until they are 80.

There is a cohort of people aged 76 and 77 who are currently not eligible but who will become eligible on their 78th birthday.

An estimated 50,000 cases of shingles occur in people aged 70 years and above each year in England and Wales.

Eligible patients are being advised to contact their GP practice to make an appointment to have the vaccination. The NHS says it’s “safe and may be more convenient for you to have the shingles vaccine at the same time as your flu vaccine”.

Dr Greg Black, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body member and clinical lead for medicines, said: “Shingles isn’t like other infectious diseases because you don’t catch it from someone else. It can be very painful and tends to affect people more commonly as they get older.

“For some, the pain caused by shingles can last for many years. Shingles can really affect your life, stopping you from doing all the things you usually enjoy.

“By having the vaccination you will significantly reduce your chance of developing shingles, and unlike the annual flu jab, you will only have the vaccination once.

“Side effects are usually quite mild and don’t last very long and, if you do go on to have shingles after the vaccine, the symptoms are likely to be milder and the illness shorter, than if you had not had it.”

Approximately 20 per cent of shingles cases develop into a painful and long lasting condition with two per cent of cases resulting in hospitalisation. One in 1,000 cases of shingles are estimated to result in death.

There’s more information about shingles on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/shingles/

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Mums and dads urged to take up flu vaccination offer for their children

Published on Sep 18, 2018

Mums and dads in Scarborough and Ryedale are being urged to get their child vaccinated against the flu.

The vaccine is free for the majority of children aged two and three years old, primary school age children and youngsters with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu.

The annual vaccination programme in schools in our area is being delivered by nurses from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s Childhood Immunisation Team.

Parents are being reminded to complete the online consent form for their child, available at www.hdft.nhs.uk/flu-consent or complete the paper form circulated by some schools.

The online consent form is easy to fill in and will take around 10 minutes. Parents will be prompted to type in their child’s school code, provided on the website and can also read a range of Frequently Asked Questions about the nasal flu vaccine.

For children aged two and three, the vaccine is available at their local GP practice.

Dr Greg Black, Governing Body member and Medicines Lead for NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. This can last several days or more and in many cases will lead to a parent having to take time off work to look after their poorly child.

“Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Children under the age of five have the highest rate of hospital admissions due to flu. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

“The nasal vaccine provided through the schools vaccination programme offers good protection against flu, particularly in young children. It also reduces the risk of a child passing on the virus to a more vulnerable member of their family, such as a baby brother or sister who is too young to be vaccinated, or elderly relative who is at greater risk from complications caused by the flu.

“This particular flu vaccination has been given to millions of children worldwide and is the single most effective protection against flu we have.”

Meanwhile, in a series of films for social media – also available to watch at www.hdft.nhs.uk/flu-consent – children from North Yorkshire have been giving their opinions about the nasal flu spray and why it’s important to have it. Youngsters Maisie, Jude, Reggie, Oliver and Noah remarked how “it tickles”, “it goes up a nose hole” and how “it protects my grandma”.

Lois Alderson, Clinical Lead for Childhood Immunisations in North Yorkshire said: “We had a lot of fun talking with our five youngsters and finding out what they thought about the nasal flu spray.

“As nurses we know the benefits of having the vaccine and we know parents do too. But we thought it would be interesting to see what some of the young people actually receiving the vaccine thought about it and if they understood why it was so important.

“And even if one child thought it would protect the moon too, it was great to see they knew why it was important and what the benefits were of having it.”

You can also watch each film here:

Maisie: https://youtu.be/Ts_4QU8r7x8

Reggie: https://youtu.be/mscrFf8vAFo

Jude: https://youtu.be/rRE2IK3QBPQ

Oliver: https://youtu.be/1DKuMFDTre0

Noah: https://youtu.be/ngu2pbd08QI

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