Flu vac­ci­na­tions should be as soon as pos­si­ble

The Oban Times - - News -

PEO­PLE at risk of flu are urged to get their flu vac­cine as early as pos­si­ble this year.

The lat­est up­take fig­ures for High­land showed nearly half (44 per cent) of peo­ple who are at risk from flu due to an un­der­ly­ing health con­di­tion have taken up the of­fer of the free vac­cine since the start of the na­tional im­mu­ni­sa­tion pro­gramme in Oc­to­ber 2016.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the num­ber of cases of flu can in­crease dur­ing Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.

The lat­est up­take fig­ures also high­light that just un­der twofifths (41 per cent) of preg­nant women not in at-risk groups and al­most three- quar­ters (69 per cent) of those over the age of 65 in the High­lands have re­ceived their flu vac­ci­na­tion.

The flu vac­ci­na­tion is be­ing ad­min­is­tered by GP prac­tices un­til the end of March 2017 as part of a pro­gramme which will see more than two mil­lion peo­ple across Scot­land of­fered the vac­ci­na­tion this win­ter.

Sta­tis­tics show that over the past five years around 500 deaths have oc­curred each win­ter at­trib­ut­able or re­lated to flu.

Dr Lor­raine McKee, flu im­mu­ni­sa­tion co- or­di­na­tor for NHS High­land, said: ‘If you have a health con­di­tion, it’s so im­por­tant that you re­ceive the vac­cine as you are at higher risk of com­pli­ca­tions from flu.

‘Any­one who is el­i­gi­ble should make an ap­point­ment with their GP prac­tice to get their vac­cine as soon as pos­si­ble. It doesn’t take long and pro­vides pro­tec­tion for the rest of this flu sea­son.’

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