Flu and Covid-19 vaccine roll-out continues in Forth Valley

Scotland’s flu and Covid-19 Booster programmes are continuing with pace as people aged 60 to 69 and adults aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions in NHS Forth Valley started to receive invitations for their flu and Covid-19 booster vaccinations through the post earlier this week.

Appointments for these groups will take place at local community vaccination clinics across Forth Valley and will start on 8th November 2021 for people aged over 60 and 15th November 2021 for people over 16 with underlying health conditions.

Over the month people in the highest risk groups for both flu and Covid-19, including those who are aged 70 years and over, people in older adult care homes, those who are on the highest risk list and frontline health and social care workers have been offered

In addition, we have been delivering flu vaccinations to children under 2 years old who have underlying health conditions, preschool children aged 2-5, all school pupils, pregnant women and all NHS healthcare workers.

The winter flu and Covid-19 vaccination programmes are working together to reduce the risks for both types of illness. Wherever possible, those eligible for the booster jab will receive both the flu vaccine and Covid-19 boosters on the same day. This is safe and effective to do and will reduce the need to have two separate appointments.

So far in NHS Forth Valley we have administered more than 41,500 flu vaccinations
37,700 Covid 3rd doses and booster vaccinations over the course of the last month.

For those in the underlying health conditions group – the type of health condition will guide whether they will be given a flu jab, the Covid-19 booster, or both vaccines.

Details on who is eligible for these vaccinations and when they can expect an invitation are available on NHS Inform.

Fiona Coan, NHS Forth Valley’s Immunisation Team Manager, said: “The response from the initial priority groups has been good and we will continue to roll out the vaccines to the other eligible groups over the next few months, in line with national guidance.

“Boosters will be offered to many of the groups who routinely have the flu vaccine to protect people from both illnesses and everyone who is eligible will be offered a vaccination. If you haven’t received your appointment letter yet, please be patient. You do not have to do anything now – you will be contacted, notifying you of your appointment and vaccinations will continue to be delivered until January 2022.

“Flu can be extremely serious and is very infectious and Covid-19 is still circulating widely in local communities. I’d therefore urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against flu and boost their immunity to coronavirus to help protect those most at risk as well as ease pressure on local health and care services over the winter months.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We remain on track with Scotland’s booster programme prioritising those at the highest risk for both Covid-19 and flu. We started this as soon as possible following the JCVI advice – that the booster dose should be offered no earlier than six months after completion of the primary vaccine course. It is important to note that many people in the original early priority cohorts of the initial vaccination programme had already had a 6-month gap prior to this JCVI advice.

“In addition to delivering the Covid-19 vaccine boosters, this year we are offering a record number of free flu vaccines to help protect the people of Scotland. It is the biggest ever flu vaccination programme in Scotland reaching over four million people.

“The flu virus changes every year, so you need to get the vaccine every year to stay protected. The vaccine cannot give you flu, but it can help stop you catching it, or suffering severe symptoms. The Covid-19 vaccine does not offer any protection from flu, you need to get the separate flu vaccine.”To find out more about vaccine eligibility and when you will be invited visit nhsinform.scot/fluandcovid19vaccsguide

For more information about the flu vaccine, visit nhsinform.scot/fluvaccine

For more information about the Covid-19 booster visit nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinebooster