The NHS has announced a major boost to the shingles vaccine roll-out in England, with around 900,000 extra people now eligible.
At the moment, only those aged over 70 can get the Shingrix jab to help protect against the potentially debilitating and deadly virus.
But from September 1, anyone who is over 50 and severely immunocompromised will be able to receive it.
Those turning 65 and 70 will also be eligible for the vaccine after their birthday.
If you’re eligible, your GP should reach out to you about coming in to get your jab, and may offer it during a routine check-up.
The NHS has also committed to expanding availability to all people aged 60 and over by September 2028.
At least nine in 10 adults carry the shingles virus, which develops in people who have previously had chicken pox.
In some cases, the illness can cause blindness, hearing loss and nerve pain – and can be fatal to those most vulnerable.
Typically, shingles shows up as a painful rash of blisters on one side of your torso.
It made the headlines earlier this year when This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby was forced to miss several episodes following a diagnosis.
Steve Russell, national director of vaccinations and screening at NHS England, said: ‘While the country has been focused on the NHS’s successful Covid and flu vaccine programmes, there remain other preventable illnesses like shingles which can be fatal to those most at risk.
‘With a quarter of people getting shingles in their lifetime, and with it being one of the few conditions that cannot achieve herd immunity, the expansion of the programme will provide peace of mind to hundreds of thousands and save lives.’
Shingrix was made available as an alternative to Zostavax in September 2021.
The NHS has said people who have already received a Zostavax vaccine do not need to be re-vaccinated with the other option.