GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Shingrix has been licensed in the UK for the prevention of shingles in adults aged 50 years and older, as well as in adults 18 years of age or older who are at increased risk of shingles.

Shingrix (herpes zoster vaccine) is a non-live, recombinant subunit vaccine combining an antigen, glycoprotein E, and an adjuvant system, AS01B. In addition to preventing shingles, the jab also prevents post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a common complication of shingles.

Following “high global demand” reported by GSK, the vaccine will be available for eligible adults to purchase via pharmacy chains, private GP clinics and other healthcare settings where a service is set-up.

As of 1 September 2021, it is also available via the current national shingles immunisation programme for patients aged 70 to 79 years who are eligible for shingles vaccination but are clinically contraindicated to receive the current vaccine on the programme due to being immunocompromised.

Karen Mullen, medical director UK & Ireland, GSK, said: “The risk of shingles increases with age as the immune system gradually becomes less effective in mounting a strong response to infection. Shingrix was developed specifically to overcome this decline in immune function and to help protect people as they get older. We are pleased that people in the UK will now have access to this vaccine to help reduce the burden of this painful disease.”