Public urged to take up offers of vaccinations
During the colder winter months when people stay indoors for longer, and in larger groups, there is an increase in the number of people experiencing coughs, colds and flu-like illnesses.Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself against flu and Covid-19 and Public Health Scotland (PHS) is strongly encouraging those eligible to take up the vaccination offer now, to help avoid missing out on socialising with friends and family over the peak winter season.
The organisation is emphasising that both flu and Covid-19 can still be serious, and can result in hospitalisationThis year’s vaccination programme is focused on protecting those most vulnerable to the viruses, in particular people with underlying health conditions, such as heart conditions or liver disease, that put them at greater risk of severe illness.
Pregnant women are strongly recommended to take up the vaccines, as these give them and their babies the best possible protection against serious illness from the viruses.
All health and social care workers are eligible for the free flu vaccine, with frontline workers also eligible for the Covid vaccine.While many eligible people have booked their vaccination appointment, those that have not should do so as soon as possible.
Alternatively, look at whether local health boards are running drop-in clinics where an appointment is not necessary.Dr Nick Phin, director of public health science, said: “Evidence shows that Covid-19 vaccine protection fades and the flu virus changes over time. The vaccinations offered this season top up your protection against severe illness from Covid-19 and flu.“Those that have not yet received their vaccinations are encouraged to come forward and make an appointment or check local arrangements. There are a range of vaccination sites available in each Health Board, with some now offering drop-ins too."Those who may be eligible for either a flu or Covid-19 vaccine - or both – can check using the self help guide at www.nhsinform.scot/wintervaccines and book an appointment.