A GP in Edinburgh is reminding patients across the Lothians to make an appointment to get their flu vaccine, a month into the national flu immunisation programme.
The call comes ahead of winter hitting in Scotland, as the virus can spread easier in colder temperatures.
With health professionals warning that there is the potential for this flu season to be serious, those with heart conditions and other underlying conditions are being reminded about the benefits of the vaccine in a bid to increase uptake.
A third of people hospitalised last year with flu had a heart condition, with the figure rising to half (50 percent) of those aged 45 or over.
Dr Mandy Allison, GP at Craigmillar Medical Group in Edinburgh, said: “We’re urging as many people across Edinburgh and the Lothians to get their flu vaccine before the winter weather sets in.
“People talk about flu as a mild illness but if you get flu you can feel really unwell, especially for those who have heart and other underlying health conditions where it can lead to serious complications and even hospital admission. Don’t underestimate flu- get vaccinated.”
This year, the free flu vaccine will be offered to over 1.8 million people in Scotland – as well as those with heart disease, those with health conditions which can make them more vulnerable to flu such as diabetes, asthma and bronchitis are being encouraged to make an appointment with their GP practice.
The vaccine is also offered to those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, carers and healthcare workers.
To find out more about the flu vaccine and its benefits, visit immunisationscotland.org.uk/flu or call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.