Health protection – collection

Shingles: guidance and vaccination programme

The characteristics, management and surveillance of shingles (herpes zoster).

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.

A shingles vaccination programme started in September 2013.

For symptoms and general information on shingles, visit NHS Choices.


The Virus Reference Department (VRD) provides diagnostic and reference services for rash associated viral infections.

  1. Rash in pregnancy

    • Guidance
  2. Chickenpox and shingles: infection control in prisons and other places of detention

    • Guidance
  3. Varicella zoster virus referral form

    • Form

Data collection

There are 2 shingles surveillance systems in place: GP sentinel surveillance, and pain clinic surveillance. They monitor the effectiveness and impact of the vaccination campaign.

Practices or clinics interested in participating in either programme please contact for further information.

GP consultation rates for shingles are included in the GP in-hours syndromic surveillance system

  1. Post-herpetic neuralgia in pain clinics: surveillance protocol and forms

    • Guidance


  1. Herpes zoster (shingles) immunisation programme: vaccine coverage data

    • Research and analysis

Research and analysis

  1. Herpes zoster (shingles) immunisation programme 2013 to 2014: evaluation report

    • Research and analysis

Vaccination programme 2016 to 2017

The universal vaccination programme aims to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older people.

  1. Who is eligible for the 2016 to 2017 shingles vaccine?

    • Guidance
  2. Shingles vaccination leaflet

    • Promotional material
  3. Who is eligible for the shingles vaccine beyond 2016?

    • Guidance
  4. Shingles immunisation programme letter from September 2016

    • Correspondence
  5. Shingles (herpes zoster): the green book, chapter 28a

    • Guidance
  6. Shingles vaccination: training slideset for healthcare professionals

    • Guidance
  7. Shingles: questions and answers for healthcare professionals

    • Guidance

Vaccination programme 2015 to 2016

  1. Shingles vaccination leaflet

    • Promotional material
  2. Shingles immunisation programme letter

    • Correspondence
  3. Shingles vaccination for adults aged 70, 78 or 79 years of age: calculator

    • Promotional material