The SNP Government’s annual flu vaccination programme will return in October 2019 with a public awareness campaign and runs until March 2020.
The vaccination programme will provide everyone who is eligible with the opportunity to receive a free NHS vaccination. The following people are eligible:
Those aged over 65
Those under 65 with a health condition (for example diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or asthma resulting in regular use of an inhaler)
Children aged 2 – 5 (and not yet in school)
Primary school children (vaccination delivered at school)
The vaccines procured for Scotland are in line with the recommendations of the independent expert ‘Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’ (JCVI). Health Protection Scotland have worked with Health Board Leads to allocate vaccines appropriately between the boards.
The following vaccines will be available for use in the groups outlined below:
Individuals aged 65 years and over will receive adjuvanted Trivalent Inactivated Vaccine (aTIV) (Fluad ®) or cell based Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIVc) (Flucelvax Tetra®). Both vaccines are considered by the JCVI to be equally effective for this cohort.
Individuals aged 18-64 years with at risk conditions will receive either QIVc or egg based Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIVe). Both vaccines are considered by the JCVI to be equally effective for this cohort
Healthcare workers (HCWs) will be offered QIVe through Health Boards to support their vaccination programme.
Children 2-5 year old and not yet in school, all primary school aged children, and those in clinical risk groups under age 18, will receive Quadrivalent live attenuated intranasal vaccine Fluenz Tetra ® (LAIV). As this vaccine has a shorter shelf life than other vaccines it will be subject to phased delivery to ensure ‘in date’ vaccine is available throughout the season; this is the case across the UK as the vaccine for this programme is procured on behalf of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland by Public Health England (PHE).
The programmes are anticipated to have sufficient vaccine procured and supplied and will be subject to ongoing management at a local level. Supply will be monitored as we approach October, through to March.
Health Board Immunisation Coordinators are in place to help address any local issues, with support at national level from the SNP Government and key partner Health Protection Scotland.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“We all know how serious a public health issue flu is, in addition of course to the misery it causes to patients. Being infected poses a particular risk to those who are already vulnerable and have low resistance.
"That’s why the SNP Government is starting the vaccination programme in October, to ensure as many people as possible are protected from flu before winter begins.
"The vaccine is safe, effective, and remains the best protection against the flu virus.
"I encourage everyone in North Ayrshire who is eligible to get vaccinated early. Not only will you protect yourself, you will also be playing a part in helping stop the spread of the virus this winter."
For more information, please visit readyforflu.scot or or phone NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.