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Havering nurse offers advice to protect against shingles

PUBLISHED: 11:56 29 June 2017

Samantha Schaard.

Samantha Schaard.

Archant

With the London Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) calling for more elderly people to get a vaccine against the shingles one Havering nurse shares her experiences of treating the virus.

Samantha Schaad is a senior practice nurse in Havering and has thrown her weight behind the London-wide Keep Well and Protect Against Shingles campaign.

Samantha warns those still unsure whether they need to get vaccinated to protect against shingles that they run the risk of suffering from long-term health problems.

“Don’t cause yourself unnecessary pain, it’s easy and free to get protected from the shingles,” said Samantha.

“Patients may not be aware of the painful impact, and potentially longer-term health issues of getting shingles. It is rare, but shingles can be fatal, and we always need to be mindful of this.

“It’s awful when we see patients with shingles in a bad way, particularly because we could have helped them avoid this if they had come to us to have the shingles vaccination, which you only need to have once.

“Whilst most adults are aware of vaccinations such as the Flu, it seems shingles often gets forgotten. But, we need to bring this to the forefront of people’s minds as we don’t want to see people suffering from the virus.

“We are taking a very pro-active approach to this shingles campaign and have ordered in additional vaccines for the coming weeks and months to ensure we have enough for all our patients over the age of 70 who will hopefully be coming to us to get protected.

“We’ve pro-actively telephoned 260 of our patients already to request they come in for the shingles vaccination after our records showed they have not had it.

“We will do this on a regular basis to ensure as many of our eligible patients as possible have the shingles vaccination in the coming weeks and months.

“It’s really important we get the message out there to our older people over the age of 70, in our community, that we can help them avoid getting shingles: Protect yourself now against shingles with a free, one dose vaccine at your GP.”

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