Flu jab take up is ‘vi­tal’

Beat win­ter virus

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

Peo­ple in Forth Val­ley at risk of de­vel­op­ing com­pli­ca­tions from flu are be­ing ad­vised there is still time to get the flu vac­cine be­fore the virus hits.

Re­ported cases more than dou­bled last win­ter, with flu­like illness at the high­est rate for seven years.

NHS FV con­sul­tant in pub­lic health medicine Dr Henry Prem­peh said: “Flu isn’t cir­cu­lat­ing widely in Scotland yet so there’s still time to get the vac­cine and en­sure you’re pro­tected ahead of win­ter. It pro­vides the best de­fence against flu and get­ting it early is vi­tal.

“Last win­ter was a par­tic­u­larly bad year for flu and we can­not pre­dict how se­vere this flu sea­son will be, which is why it is so im­por­tant for those who are at risk to get vac­ci­nated, even if they feel fit and healthy, It only takes a few min­utes and will pro­tect you for around a year.”

This year’s flu vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme is al­ready un­der­way. This win­ter, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has bought more vac­cine than last year in re­sponse to higher de­mand.

Those el­i­gi­ble for the free flu vac­cine in­clude: aged 65 years of age and over; over six months old with a med­i­cal con­di­tion such as asthma, di­a­betes, cys­tic fi­bro­sis, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, heart and lung dis­eases, or au­toim­mune dis­or­ders; NHS work­ers; un­paid car­ers; preg­nant women; chil­dren aged 2-11-years-old. Age 2-5 year olds and not yet in school will be vac­ci­nated at their GP prac­tice; 5-11-yearolds will be vac­ci­nated at school dur­ing the au­tumn term. More at ready­for­flu. scot or phone NHS In­form on 0800 22 44 88.

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