In England, the shingles vaccine is routinely offered to patients aged 70 years old on 1 September 2015 (born between 2 September 1944 and 1 September 1945), and to a catch-up cohort comprised of adults aged 78 years old on 1 September 2015 (born between 2 September 1936 and 1 September 1937).
Whilst the herpes zoster (shingles) programme is in its third year in England, coverage between September 2015 and May 2016 was down on the previous year. Compared with May 2015, coverage was lower by 1.8% for the routine cohort, and by 1.4% for the catch-up cohort.
Only 51% of the routine 70 year old cohort was vaccinated, and only 51.1% of the 78 year old catch-up cohort were protected.
Essex was the worst area in terms of uptake, with only 43.7% of the routine cohort and 43.3% of the catch-up cohort protected. London followed closely behind Essex, with routine uptake of 43.8%, and catch-up uptake of 44.6%. However, Cheshire, Warrington and the Wirral reported coverage rates of 57% in the routine cohort, and 55.7% in the catch-up cohort.
Nonetheless, a significant number of vulnerable older people remain unprotected against this painful disease.