MSP encourages constituents to get flu vaccine

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson is encouraging those eligible to sign-up for the national flu vaccination programme.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 5:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 4:34 am
Stewart Stevenson MSP

Ahead of winter, those most at risk are being asked to make sure they protect themselves against illness.

It comes after the number of reported cases of flu more than doubled last winter.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has warned flu can be serious and result in complications that lead to hospitalisation.

Around 2.5million people are expected to be offered a flu vaccination this year, including those with health conditions, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and children aged 2-11.

NHS Scotland workers and carers are also offered the vaccine to help stop the spread of the virus to the vulnerable.

With the flu vaccine available from GP practices from this week, the advice for those eligible is to make the vaccination a priority to ensure they're protected ahead of winter.

Figures show that on average, 1,918 people have been hospitalised for flu or its complications each year in Scotland.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said: “This year we want to ensure as many people as possible are protected from flu ahead of winter hitting.

“I would encourage everyone who needs it in the Banffshire and Buchan Coast region to make sure they do.

"The vaccine is safe, effective, and remains the best protection against the flu virus. It is important to stress that the flu vaccine offered to those ages 65-74 this winter still provides protection.

"Last winter was a particularly bad year for flu, with a rise in the number of cases and hospitalisations.

"Flu can be extremely serious for those who are vulnerable, and is very infectious. Constituents can protect themselves by encouraging people they know to get vaccinated early. Not only will you protect yourself, but you'll also be playing a part in helping stop the spread of the virus this winter."