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