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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 16 October 2023

Volunteers needed for study to look at whether shingles and COVID-19 or flu vaccines can be given at same time

People aged 50 and over are invited to take part in a new research study at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH) NHS Foundation Trust looking at the co-administration of the shingles vaccine with the COVID-19 or flu vaccine.

Researchers at the University of Bristol are testing the safety and immune responses of giving the shingles vaccine at the same time as the flu or COVID-19 vaccine and are welcoming volunteers to take part in the study, sponsored by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW).

The 'ZosterFluCOV' study is coordinated by the Bristol Trials Centre with trusts taking part across multiple locations around the UK, including the RUH. More information about the sites can be found on the ZosterFluCOV website.

Dr Rajeka Lazarus, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at UHBW, Honorary Research Fellow at the Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences (PHS) and Chief Investigator for the trial, said: "The number of vaccines available to prevent infection in older adults has increased over the past ten years and is likely to increase further.

"We hope this study will provide evidence to improve how we offer vaccines to older adults."

In the UK, a shingles vaccine is offered to people when they reach 65 years old. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are also offered to people in this age group. If the shingles vaccine could be offered during the same appointment as either flu or COVID-19 vaccine it would save having to make several trips to see the GP.

Symptoms of shingles include a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin, a headache or feeling unwell, and a rash which may develop into itchy blisters. Some people have pain at the site of the infection that can go on for many years and is difficult to treat. The vaccine stops most people getting shingles but those that do have a milder and shorter illness. It is okay to have the shingles vaccine if you have had shingles before, it will boost your immunity.

If you are interested in taking part in the study, please visit and choose the RUH.


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