People across Edinburgh and the Lothians at risk of developing complications from flu are being advised there is still time to get the flu vaccine before the virus hits.
The number of reported cases of flu more than doubled last winter, with flu-like illness at the highest rate for seven years.
Katie Dee, Deputy Director of Public Health Policy at NHS Lothian, said: “Flu isn’t circulating widely in Scotland yet so there’s still time to get the vaccine and ensure you’re protected ahead of winter. Vaccination provides the best defence against flu and getting it early is vital.
“Last winter was a particularly bad year for flu and we cannot predict how severe this flu season will be, which is why it is so important for those who are at risk to get vaccinated, even if they feel fit and healthy, it only takes a few minutes and will protect you for around a year. I’d encourage everyone eligible to make their flu vaccine a priority.”
This year’s flu vaccination programme is already underway, offering free flu vaccination to over two million people across Scotland.
This winter, the Scottish Government has bought more vaccine than last year in response to higher demand.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Scotland echoed the benefits of those eligible getting the vaccine.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Gregor Smith, said: “As we approach Christmas, it’s vital that people are aware of the steps they can take to protect themselves against flu.
“With temperatures dropping and winter setting in, I’d encourage those who are eligible to prioritise getting the vaccine – you can still make an appointment at your GP surgery even if they are no longer running dedicated clinics.
“It’s always worth getting vaccinated, as it’s the best defence against a virus which can be unpredictable and serious. Not only will you protect yourself, but you’ll also be playing a part in helping stop the spread of the virus this winter.”
For further information visit readyforflu.scot or phone NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.
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