At-risk groups urged to get flu vaccine
People eligible for the flu vaccine are being urged to get protected ahead of winter as the flu vaccination programme gets underway in GP practices and primary schools across Forth Valley.
This year’s vaccine offers protection against four strains for most age groups, and is designed to target people over the age 65 or those under 65 with chronic illnesses which can make flu much more dangerous.
These include people with diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, chronic kidney failure, liver problems, cystic fibrosis, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment.
Pregnant women, unpaid carers and healthcare staff are also eligible for vaccination. GP practices across the NHS Forth Valley area are also providing free vaccine in the form of a nasal spray for children aged two to five and primary school pupils are being offered the vaccine at school to help reduce the spread of the virus.
NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr Henry Prempeh, said: “Vaccination provides the best defence against flu and getting it early is vital. I’d encourage everyone eligible to make their flu vaccination a priority and make an appointment with their GP. Medical practices are also arranging open clinics so please go along if you have been invited.”
During the 2017/18 campaign, NHS Forth Valley again achieved the highest uptake of the flu vaccine in the over 65 age group with a rate of 76 per cent compared with a Scottish average of 73 per cent and were second highest for the under 65 at-risk group. They also achieved top place in the carers category with a 58 per cent success rate compared with the Scottish average of 47 per cent.
Visit www.readyforflu. scot or phone NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.