90% of all adults raised in the UK have had chickenpox. After chickenpox, the virus stays inside your body and can recur as shingles later in life. Even those people who had a mild case of chickenpox as a child, or didn’t have any obvious symptoms may still be at risk of developing shingles.
Although not everyone develops shingles, as we get older our immune system weakens which increases the chance of getting shingles. Unfortunately shingles in older people tends to be more severe than in younger people. This is why the Department of Health have introduced a recommendation that the shingles vaccine be routinely offered to people aged between 70 and 79.
For more information about shingles visit www.shinglesaware.co.uk
Protection from Meningitis and septicaemia
All children aged between 14 and 16 should have been offered the Men ACW&Y vaccination at school.
It is very important that you take up the vaccine. It is being offered in response to a rapidly growing increase in cases of a highly aggressive strain of meningococcal disease group W. This disease can cause Meningitis and septicemia that can kill in hours, and those who recover may be left severely disabled. The vaccine also protects against three other meningococcal groups too – A, C and Y.
If you decide not to have the vaccination please let us know so we can enter this on your medical records.
Further information on the vaccination programme and meningococcal disease can be found on NHS UK at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/men-acwy-vaccine.aspx
The Department of Health are advising all expectant mothers to be vaccinated against Whooping Cough. This is to prevent your baby from catching whooping cough before they are old enough to be vaccinated themselves. The vaccine can be given from the 16th week of pregnancy but ideally at 20 weeks after your scan and before the 38th week.