Shingles vaccination uptake falls (England)

Public Health England has reported a decline in the uptake of the Shingles vaccination in both the routine in the routine (70 year old) and catch up (78 years old) cohorts (from 61.8% in 2013/14 to 54.9% in 2015/16 and from 57.8% in 2014/15 to 55.5% in 2015/16, respectively).

A copy of the evaluation report is available here. Public Health England (PHE) argue that there may be three causes for the fall in coverage:

  • difficulties in practices identifying the eligible patients – during busy influenza immunisation clinics
  • lack of call/re-call in the service specification to allow mop up of those who missed immunisation during the flu season
  • possible lowering of patients’ awareness of the vaccine since its introduction in 2013.

PHE are continuing to promote the need for shingles vaccines through professional channels and considering a range of possible approaches to simplify the programme and associated eligibility criteria.

Promotional materials are available for order or download (See Vaccine Update 255)