For the first time in the UK, a vaccine for the prevention of shingles, Zostavax, is available on private prescription for adults aged 50 and over.

Shingles, caused by the Herpes Zoster virus, is characterised by a blistering rash. Mild in most people, some have pain and debilitating complications that can last for months.

The vaccine can only be prescribed privately. GPs are not able to prescribe this vaccine on an NHS prescription.