Forth Valley Tops for Flu Jab Uptake

People in Forth Valley have risen to the challenge to get a flu jab and over 65’s have recorded the biggest uptake in mainland Scotland for the 9th consecutive year. Latest figures show that 79.4 % have been vaccinated, compared with a Scottish average to date of 75%.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr Henry Prempeh said: “Scotland as a whole has done extremely well in encouraging this age group to come forward and Forth Valley continues to lead with the highest response. Whilst this is to be commended we should not become complacent since over 20% of over 65’s have still not had a jab. It’s important to remember that we are still only half way through the flu season and we will continue to encourage people to take up the offer of a free injection.”

In the under 65 ‘at risk’ group Forth Valley has also achieved the highest response rate in mainland Scotland at 58.7% compared with the Scottish average of 54.7%. ‘At risk’ includes those with existing long-term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis, heart and other lung and liver diseases.

Forth Valley has also recorded the highest uptake for unpaid carers with 63.8% of them taking up the free vaccine compared to 49.6% of carers across Scotland as a whole.

This is also the first year that all pre-school children between the ages of two and three years have been offered a flu vaccine which has been delivered using a nasal spray. This pre-school programme is being extended next flu season to include all four year old pre-school youngsters.

In a radical new approach, NHS Forth Valley is also running a pilot programme in 30 Primary schools across the area where vaccination has been offered at weekends. More than 65% of pupils have attended for the vaccine.