It's more important than ever to get your flu vaccine!
A campaign is being launched in Midlothian to encourage residents to get vaccinated against the flu virus.
Some clinics already underway
With priority clinics for healthcare professionals and residents who have been shielding already underway, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership is encouraging residents from other vulnerable groups to come forward.
Added urgency this year
While getting a flu vaccination is important every year, there is added urgency this winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flu can be serious - check if you're "at risk"
Flu can be a serious illness, especially for “at risk” groups. The first phase of the flu vaccination programme, starting in October, is open to anyone aged 65 and over (by 31 March 2021), pregnant women, young children and those of any age with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease or heart disease. In addition, unpaid carers and young carers are being advised to have the vaccine, not only to protect themselves but also the person they are caring for.
Health staff encouraged to come forward
Health and social care workers are also being encouraged to have the jab to protect themselves, their patients and clients.
More people are eligible this year
This year, due to COVID-19, those aged 55-64 (by 31 March 2021), who would not usually be eligible for the free vaccine, will be offered the jab in a second phase of the flu programme starting in December.
Flu vaccine is a priority
Dr. Hamish Reid, Clinical Director for Midlothian, said: “This year, more than ever, it is vital that as many people as possible in these “at risk” groups take up the vaccine. Local medical centres in Midlothian will be prioritising flu vaccine appointments over other non-emergency appointments in the coming weeks, so we can vaccinate as many residents as possible.
How to arrange a vaccination
“You can arrange to get the vaccination through your GP surgery – simply check your GP website for local arrangements. Those who are not eligible for a free NHS jab can access the jab via their community pharmacist.
Help protect the NHS
“Having your flu jab protects you and your family from this serious illness. It is very safe, only takes a few seconds and gives lasting protection. It also helps our NHS avoid the pressure that a spike in seasonal flu would put on top of COVID-19.
It saves lives
“I would encourage everyone to take the flu virus seriously and to protect themselves by taking up this free vaccination. Quite simply – it saves lives.”
More information on the flu vaccine, along with a list of “at risk” groups and others who are eligible, can be found at NHSInform.scot