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Sunday 21 July 2019
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Shingles vaccine unavailable after 'multiple ordering'

Shingles vaccine no longer available after 'multiple ordering'

Zostavax – the shingles vaccine – is no longer available to order from the ImmForm website, following a UK-wide shortage. 

Last month Management in Practice reported that a cap on orders had been implemented to ensure that supplies could still be sent out. 

But according to Public Health England’s (PHE) latest vaccine update, ‘multiple ordering’ to get around the cap has resulted in problems distributing the stock. 

PHE said that further orders will be “monitored”. 

The PHE Vaccine Update states: “We expect further limited deliveries during October, at which point ordering will be resumed, with more substantial volumes due in November and December. 

“It is likely that the order level cap for England will remain in place during this period. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

Zostavax must only be ordered for 70 and 79 year olds this year. PHE has again asked  for the vaccine not to be stockpiled because “it is expensive and it is important to minimise wastage”. 

The shingles vaccine programme began on 1 September 2013. 


If the correct information had been issued from the start (ie 70 and 70 yer olds not 70 to 70 year olds), if those in charge of distribution had any idea of how practices work or if they had asked how best to supply this vaccine, any number of people could have told them that many practices call patients for this type of campaign to a specific clinic. One batch of five vaccines is hopeless if you have 50 people coming to an afternoon session. Telling us that we have until next autumn to vaccinate is all well and good when we are contracted to do it by the end of March 14 with no guarantee that we will be recompensed after that date. HAs everyone gone mad?