At-risk peo­ple urged to get flu vac­cine be­fore virus hits

The Arran Banner - - News -

Peo­ple on Ar­ran and across Ayr­shire who are at risk of de­vel­op­ing com­pli­ca­tions from flu are be­ing ad­vised there is still time to get the flu vac­cine be­fore the virus hits.

At-risk peo­ple in­clude those aged 65 and over, those with med­i­cal con­di­tions such as asthma, di­a­betes, heart and lung dis­ease, and preg­nant women, among oth­ers.

The num­ber of re­ported cases of flu more than dou­bled last win­ter, with flu­like ill­ness at the high­est rate for seven years.

Dr Elvira Gar­cia, im­mu­ni­sa­tion co-or­di­na­tor for NHS Ayr­shire and Ar­ran, said: ‘Flu isn’t cir­cu­lat­ing widely in Scot­land as yet, so there’s still time to get the flu vac­cine and en­sure you’re prop­erly pre­pared ahead of win­ter.

‘Last win­ter was a par­tic­u­larly bad year for flu, which is why it’s so im­por­tant those who are atrisk get the vac­cine, even if they feel fit and healthy. It only takes a few min­utes and will pro­vide you with the best pro­tec­tion this win­ter.’

This year’s flu vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme is al­ready un­der way, of­fer­ing free flu vac­ci­na­tion to over two mil­lion peo­ple across Scot­land. This win­ter, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has bought more vac­cine than last year in re­sponse to higher de­mand.

The deputy chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer for Scot­land echoed the ben­e­fits of those el­i­gi­ble get­ting the vac­cine.

Deputy chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer Gre­gor Smith said: ‘As we ap­proach Christ­mas, it’s vi­tal that peo­ple are aware of the steps they can take to pro­tect them­selves against flu.

‘With tem­per­a­tures drop­ping and win­ter set­tling in, I’d en­cour­age those who are el­i­gi­ble to pri­ori­tise get­ting the vac­cine.

‘You can still make an ap­point­ment at your GP surgery even if they are no longer run­ning ded­i­cated clin­ics.

‘It’s al­ways worth get­ting vac­ci­nated, as it’s the best de­fence against a virus which can be un­pre­dictable and se­ri­ous.’

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit ready­for­ or phone NHS In­form on 0800 22 44 88 or the Ar­ran Med­i­cal Group can pro­vide in­for­ma­tion by call­ing 01770 600 516.

At-risk peo­ple are be­ing urged to get vac­ci­nated against the flu virus this win­ter.

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