Winter Vaccination Programme Gets Underway in Forth Valley

Scotland’s winter vaccination programme has started in NHS Forth Valley with a range of groups being offered the flu vaccination, including those aged 50 – 64, teachers and support staff.

Invitations to book or attend an appointment have already been sent to those eligible for a flu vaccine by post, in a white NHS Scotland envelope, by email or text, depending on communication preferences.

Flu is serious and even healthy people can become very ill from it. Flu cases were at their highest since 2018/19 last year, with over 14,000 confirmed cases across all age groups.  The flu virus is always changing and getting vaccinated every year is the best way to stay protected for the whole winter season.

The expansion of the flu programme to include secondary school pupils continues this winter, with all school age pupils, children aged 2-5 and children aged 6 months to under 2 years at risk being eligible.

Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and we strongly encourage those eligible to take up the vaccination offer when it comes. Parents and carers are being encouraged to look out for an appointment letter by post, or a consent form in your child’s school bag and take up the flu vaccine offer this winter.

This year’s national winter vaccination programme is focused on protecting those most vulnerable to flu and Covid-19. Eligible groups will be invited for vaccination as the programme progresses through the autumn and winter. Both flu and Covid-19 vaccines will be offered to people most vulnerable to illness, including care home residents, frontline health and care staff, those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and carers. Where possible, both vaccines will be administered at the same time.

To help prevent the spread of flu and Covid-19, anyone with respiratory symptoms is advised to stay at home and to wash their hands regularly.

Fiona Coan, Manager of NHS Forth Valley’s Immunisation Team, said: “Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19 and flu this winter. Arrangements are in place to vaccinate everyone who is eligible across Forth Valley over the next few months.

“There are plenty of appointment times available, as well as evening and weekend clinics. We strongly encourage you to book or attend your appointment when invited as this will ensure you’re protected and help reduce pressure on local healthcare services over the busy winter period.”