• Kenneth Gibson MSP

Adults over 60 invited for Free Flu Vaccine as of Today

People aged 60-64 will be invited to receive the SNP Government’s free seasonal flu vaccine from today (1 December) as part of the largest flu immunisation program ever delivered in Scotland. The most effective way to protect against flu this winter is continuing to prioritise those who are most at risk, especially in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With vaccination for the first phase of the flu programme well under way, eligibility is being extended next to those aged 60-64. Those entitled to the flu vaccine will receive an invitation letter by post from their health board letting them know where they can receive the vaccine and how to book an appointment. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nicola Steedman said: “Flu is serious in itself, but with COVID-19 also circulating in the community, getting a flu jab is more important than ever. “For those who may be concerned about going to get the flu vaccine, we can assure you that there will be strict infection and prevention control measures in place at delivery sites to protect you. “The vaccine is safe, and the best protection we have against flu. This year more than ever it is important that those invited for vaccination take up the offer to protect themselves, their family and, where possible, the NHS. I’ve had my vaccine already, and would urge all of those who are eligible, including the new group of 60-64 year olds, to get one too. “We will continue to adapt our approach to any changes that occur throughout flu season, always prioritising those most at risk from flu, as well as seeking to protect the NHS.” Kenneth Gibson MSP commented: “I urge everyone across North Ayrshire who is eligible, to take up this free flu vaccination - even if you normally don’t. “This is a crucial time to protect ourselves and each other, particularly in vulnerable categories.” NHS Inform is the best source of information for finding out more about how you will be invited to book a flu vaccine appointment. Vaccination policy in Scotland, as with the rest of the UK, is based on recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert group which considers a full range of available evidence before providing impartial advice on matters relating to vaccination. It is recommended that we prioritise those most at clinical risk, and we continue to do that as we review vaccine uptake levels. NHS Scotland is operating in a context where global supplies of flu vaccine are constrained. If demand for the vaccine is a lot higher than we predicted, then those at the greatest clinical risk will continue to be prioritised. ENDS