People aged 70-79 or 50 and over with a severely weakened immune system are eligible to receive a shingles vaccine. Earlier this year, the cohort of people eligible to receive a shingles vaccine was extended to include those who turn 65 on or after 1 September 2023.
While this is a welcome step, I am concerned that people aged 65-69 are not eligible for a shingles vaccine – despite being a more at-risk group and with people either side of their age bracket being vaccinated.
As such, I have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ask why people aged 65-69 are currently excluded and if they current eligibility criteria will be extended.
You can read my full letter below.
Dear Secretary of State,
Under new criteria, people turning 65 on or after 1 September 2023 have become eligible for the shingles vaccine. This compliments the existing eligibility criteria which sees people aged 70-79 as well as people aged 50 and over who have a severely weakened immune system.
The decision to extend the eligibility criteria for the shingles vaccine is a welcome one. However, I am concerned that a cohort of people currently aged 65-69 have been excluded. Although they will become eligible once they turn 70, they are a more at-risk group and should not be left to wait to access their vaccine while people either side of their age bracket are being vaccinated.
As such, I would be grateful if you could respond to the following questions:
- If there is a medical reason why those aged 65-69 who are not currently eligible for the shingles vaccine have been excluded from the eligibility criteria?
- If not, for what reason(s) the decision was made to exclude those aged 65-69 from the eligibility criteria?
- If the eligibility criteria will be extended to include all those currently aged 65 and over?
Uptake of the shingles vaccine is vital to protect those considered most at-risk. I therefore hope your Department will take further steps to improve eligibility for the shingles vaccine for people in Lewisham East and across the country.
I look forward to your response.
Janet Daby MP