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Last modified: 02/05/2015


ZOSTAVAX – the new Shingles (herpes zoster) Vaccine £180 available today from Dr Harris phone 020 8209 2401. This is licensed for adults over 50 years of age. 

If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you could get Shingles now.The same virus that causes chickenpox stays in your body and can later resurface as Shingles — a painful, blistering rash. ZOSTAVAX (pronounced “ZOS-tah-vax”) is a vaccine that can help prevent Shingles in adults 50 years of age or older.

The vaccine has a product license for people aged 50 and over, and can be administered to anyone able to receive a live vaccine. (The main categories of people who should not receive live vaccines are people with reduced or suppressed immunity, and in pregnancy.) The vaccine is given once only. It can be administered unlicensed to individuals aged less than 50 at a doctor’s own responsibility. There is over six years’ experience of safe use of Zostavax in other countries, notably the USA; however, limited vaccine production capacity has restricted availability until now. The NHS will be launching their shingles vaccination campaign next year – in Sept 2013 – but will be vaccinating patients from 70 years of age and upwards, only.


Dr Martin Harris specialises in vaccines and his UK specialist centre. To receive the shingles vaccine, please book aprivate GP appointment with Dr Harris 020 8209 2401

The vaccine cost is £180.00 which includes the consultation fee.

Dr Martin Harris
Temple Fortune Health Centre
23 Temple Fortune Lane
London NW11 7TE
Tel: 020 8209 2401



Shingles is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus. The incidence of this from the age of 50 onwards is greatly increased, and is higher in women than in men.

In the UK, 90% of the population has had chickenpox, infection; 25% of adults will get shingles; and of those, 20% will develop long term complications such as localised pain which can last up to 6 – 7 years.

The increase of incidence with age is most marked in the 50+ age group,  with a reduction in immunity; the vaccine prevents virus reactivation and its complication; the overall success rate of the vaccine in preventing shingles is 51% and is more effective in younger age groups than in older ones; the vaccine also reduces the severity and duration of complications in those patients who do ultimately develop shingles.


The vaccine consists of a modified form of the herpes zoster virus that does not cause disease. Side effects are the normal side effects experienced with other vaccines, such as site irritation or a sore arm; rarely, a chicken-pox like rash may occur at the injection site.

Patients cannot get shingles from this vaccine, but have a very small chance of getting chicken pox. 

There is no danger in giving this vaccine to people who may not have had chicken pox, this is essentially the chicken pox vaccine in a greater dosage, so it will just end up protecting them from chicken pox.


Further information can be found at the disease awareness website:

Important Safety Information

  • ZOSTAVAX does not protect everyone, so some people who get the vaccine may still get Shingles.
  • You should not get ZOSTAVAX if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, including gelatin or neomycin, have a weakened immune system, take high doses of steroids, or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not get ZOSTAVAX to prevent chickenpox.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you plan to get ZOSTAVAX at the same time as PNEUMOVAX®23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent) because it may be better to get these vaccines at least 4 weeks apart.
  • Possible side effects include redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth, or bruising at the injection site, as well as headache.
  • ZOSTAVAX contains a weakened chickenpox virus. Tell your health care provider if you will be in close contact with newborn infants, someone who may be pregnant and has not had chickenpox or been vaccinated against chickenpox, or someone who has problems with their immune system. Your health care provider can tell you what situations you may need to avoid.