Torbay Council’s Public Health Team is highlighting a vaccine to prevent shingles in the over 70 year olds and for new college and university students to be given the Men ACWY vaccination.


Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.

Following chickenpox infection, the virus can lie dormant in the nervous tissue but may reappear following reactivation as shingles. It is possible to have shingles more than once.

Vaccinations start from 70 years of age. The shingles vaccination programme started in September 2013. To see if you are eligible, please use the calculator.

The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection into the upper arm. Unlike the flu jab, you'll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year. 

Cllr Derek Mills, Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The shingles vaccine is expected to reduce your risk of getting shingles. If you are unlucky enough to go on to have the disease, your symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter.”

Please contact your GP for further advice


Students going to university or college for the first time, including overseas and mature students up to the age of 25, are being urged to contact their GP to have the Men ACWY vaccine. The vaccine protects against 4 types of meningitis. This should ideally be given before they begin or in the first few weeks of their course. The vaccine is free.

Councillor Derek Mills said: “I also strongly encourage all students attending college or university for the first time to request the Men ACWY vaccination from their local GP. This is a new, exciting time in your life but it is also important for you to stay well and healthy. If you miss out, you can still register with a GP at university and get the vaccination there.”

Older teenagers and university students are at a high risk of getting the infection due to them coming into contact with a high amount of new people.

For more information on shingles, visit the NHS Shingles or the Men ACWY vaccination websites.

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