Annual flu vaccination programme under way

Occupational health clinic nurse Kirsty Armstrong gives Derek Leslie (right), Argyll and Bute CHP director of operations, his flu vaccination. On the left is Argyll and Bute CHP chairman Robin Creelman.
Occupational health clinic nurse Kirsty Armstrong gives Derek Leslie (right), Argyll and Bute CHP director of operations, his flu vaccination. On the left is Argyll and Bute CHP chairman Robin Creelman.

Scotland’s annual flu vaccination programme is under way - with people who have existing health conditions or long-term illnesses being encouraged to make an appointment for the free flu jab.

Catching flu is more than just a bad cold; it’s a serious illness that can hit you hard and fast. If you have an existing health condition such as heart, lung, liver or kidney problems, or a long-term illness such as diabetes, then flu can hit you even harder and with more severe effects, even if you’re young, or feel fit and healthy at the moment.

If you have a health condition, if you’re pregnant, if you’re over 65 or if you’re a carer, make an appointment with your GP surgery to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, NHS Highland’s flu vaccination programme has already begun, with staff who have direct contact with patients being encouraged to get the vaccine.

All NHS Highland staff, particularly those who have direct contact with patients, are being encouraged to get the vaccine.

Dr Ken Oates, consultant in public health medicine for NHS Highland, hopes that staff will take the opportunity to be vaccinated.

He said: “Staff suffering from flu, or even just incubating flu, can unintentionally pass this on to others, including the patients they are looking after, which we are obviously very keen to avoid. We are therefore making every effort to make flu vaccination as easy and accessible to our staff as possible over the coming weeks.

“Flu is not a minor illness. It makes people feel extremely unwell for two to three days and full recovery normally takes a week. Even fit healthy people can develop more serious consequences and can require hospitalisation.”

Robin Creelman, chair of Argyll and Bute Community Health Partnership, said: “By having the vaccination our staff will not pass on the virus unintentionally to their patients and they will also be protecting their own health and that of their family.”