NHSWI roll out the next flu jab phase

People aged 60-64 in the Western Isles will shortly receive letters inviting them to make an appointment for the free flu vaccine from December 1 as the next phase of the largest ever flu immunisation programme is delivered in Scotland.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 9:45 am
The next phase of the vaccination deals with the 60-64 age group.

With vaccination for the first phase of the flu programme well under way, eligibility is being extended first to those aged 60-64 as priority is giving to those who are most at risk, especially in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Those entitled to the flu vaccine will shortly receive an invitation letter by post inviting them to book an appointment. Residents should telephone 01851 763304 to make their appointment.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “I would strongly encourage anyone eligible to come forward for the flu vaccine to make sure they get the jab.

“It’s the best protection we have against flu, is free, safe and the adult vaccine isn’t a live virus so it can’t give you flu, whatever the rumour mill says.

“Every year thousands of people in Scotland are hospitalised by flu. With COVID-19 in circulation, it is more important than ever to protect yourself and your loved ones.

“Getting the flu vaccine is one of the most important reasons to leave your home and strict infection and prevention control measures are in place to ensure the utmost safety.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nicola Steedman said: “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.”

Phase one of the flu vaccination programme included those aged 65 or over; those over six months of age with a medical conditions which puts them in an ‘at risk’ group (such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, heart and lung diseases, autoimmune disorders or sickle cell disease); people living in the same house as those previously shielding from COVID-19; pregnant women; children in primary school; two to five year olds not yet in school; health and social care workers in addition to young and unpaid carers.

Anyone within any of the above categories can still contact NHS Western Isles for an appointment on 01851 763304. An anbswerphone is available when the lines are busy, but if you leave a message someone from the team will call back. For more information, and full details on eligibility, visit: www.wihb.scot.nhs.uk/flu-is-serious/

Travelling to your flu vaccine is classed as essential travel.