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Two herpes vaccine trials

You wait for years for a herpes vaccine trial to be run in the UK and then two turn up at once.

Herpes simplex

Until February 29th, you have a chance to join the GSK vaccine trial which is being conducted in hospitals in Brighton, Liverpool, central London and Southampton. However, at this stage you might have to go on a waiting list.

The waiting list is worth being on because the first thing that participants will be asked to do, is to swab themselves twice a day for 28 days. This is to prove that they can comply with the requirements of the vaccine trial. As people drop out, because they cannot remember to swab themselves, then more volunteers will be recruited to take their places.

To qualify, you need to be 18-60 years old; to have had herpes simplex type 2 for at least one year; and to have had between 3 and 9 recurrences in the last year. or, if you are on suppressive therapy within 3 months before the first visit, prior to initiation of suppressive therapy.

You can see the full details of the trial on National Library of Medicine (USA) trials register:

If you are interested, phone the trial co-ordination centre on 0208 990 4466. They will be able to give you contact details for the centre that could suit you. Remember, you will need to visit the centre many times (I’m guessing around 5 times), so the centre will need to be somewhere you can get to.

Herpes zoster (shingles)

The name of the second herpes vaccine trial is “ZostaFluCov.” Herpes zoster – “Zosta” – is the name for a recurrnce of chickenpox, commongly called shingles. This trial is to find out how acceptable it is to give people over 50 the new Shingrix vaccine against shingles at the same time as giving them the seasonal flu jab and the Covid booster.

This is an opportunity to get the shingles jab early! The NHS is only giving the Shingrix vaccination to people as they become 65, and people in their 70s.

The trial is being done in the following locations. (They may add more, and if so I will be back to update this list.)

  • North Bristol Trust
  • University Hospital Bristol and Weston
  • Guy’s and St Thomas
  • St Georges
  • Sheffield
  • Royal United hospital bath
  • Hull
  • South Tees
  • Gloucestershire
  • Marine Lake (the Wirral)
  • Southampton
  • Pier Health Group (Weston-super-Mare)

You can find out more about this trial – which involves about 5 or 6 visits to the research clinic – by visting the central organiser’s website at ZosterFluCOV (

As with the previous trial, it is important that you can visit the site repeatedly. You will have to make a minimum of 3 visits and more likely 5. So you will need to be able to get their easily!

Covid vaccines
The herpes medication and the COVID vaccines

Post published on 13/02/2024