Don’t contact GP for your flu jab

NHS Western Isles is reminding those eligible for the influenza vaccination, who have received appointment letters to contact the number on their letter to book an appointment time at a venue near them.

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 8:30 am
It’s more important than ever to take the flu vaccine this year.

Please do not contact your GP Practice as this year’s influenza vaccination programme is being managed by NHS Western Isles.

A spokesman said: “We are aware that letters are directing some patients to clinics outside their local area. Please don’t worry- when you call to book your vaccination, our own local staff will assign you to the correct clinic.

“The most vulnerable patients are being scheduled first, and staff will confirm which group patients fall into when they call us.

“Please note that phone lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am until 5pm. If it is more convenient, drop a message with your contact number to: [email protected] and we will get back to you.

“If you are eligible for the influenza vaccination and have not yet received your appointment letter, we can reassure you that appointment letters are being issued in stages and you will receive an invitation to book an appointment in due course.”

If you have received a letter in error (i.e. you do not fall into one of the eligible groups) and are confident that you are not eligible for the vaccination, you do not need to contact the health board for a booking, who apologise for this confusion.

NHS Western Isles is working to make sure the most vulnerable patients are vaccinated first, and wish to thank the public for their patience as they roll out clinics over the next two months.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

The Influenza vaccination is being offered to those aged 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions (e.g. asthma, stroke, diabetes), pregnant women, children aged between 2-5 years, primary school children and health care workers who are already eligible to receive this vaccination.

This year, for the first time, social care workers, those living in the same house as people who have been shielding from Covid-19, and 55-64 year olds are also now eligible to receive the Influenza vaccination.

Primary school pupils throughout the islands will be offered the vaccination administered by the local school nursing team, during the months of October and November. Most of these school children will receive the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray, avoiding the need for any fear or discomfort from an injection.

Consent forms have already been, oe will be very shortly sent home in school bags for all primary pupils, with parents and carers urged to return the form with consent attached to ensure their child is protected against the flu this winter.

Pre-school children who are aged two and above (as at September 1, ) are also offered a free flu immunisation – again taken as a pain-free nasal spray – and will be invited by NHS Western Isles to make an appointment for their vaccination.

Women who are pregnant will be offered the influenza vaccination by their midwife or care team looking after their pregnancy.