Public health bosses have praised primary care after the shingles vaccination programme achieved high uptake with about 62% of 70 year-olds and 60% of 79 year-olds receiving the vaccine in its first year.
The programme was launched in September 2013 and offered to adults were aged 70 and 79 on 1 September of that year.
Shortages of the vaccine occurred between September and December last year when GPs were blamed for ‘multiple ordering’, but PHE says that these problems have now been resolved and did not impact on the overall programme.
PHE head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay said: ‘We are very pleased by the number of people who have been vaccinated for shingles during the first year of the programme and we hope that this figure continues to rise over the coming years as the vaccine becomes more established.
‘We congratulate our colleagues in primary care, particularly those practice nurses who have helped to deliver this programme alongside their busy clinics for seasonal flu. This season we hope to vaccinate many more older people, and to maintain and improve uptake to prevent this debilitating condition amongst older people in England.’
This year eligible patients who were 70, 78 and 79 on 1 September 2014 onwards have until 31 August next year to be vaccinated.