Tayside residents encouraged to get protected for winter

Members of the public in at-risk groups, as well as health and social care staff, are encouraged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster ahead of winter.  

The seasonal flu vaccination programme is now underway with those who are most at risk also being offered a COVID booster if they had their second dose more than six months ago.

For those who are eligible for flu and COVID boosters, both jabs may be given at the same appointment.

Over-70s and clinically extremely vulnerable  

  • People aged 70 and over and those aged 16 and over who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (previously known as shielding) are currently being invited for their flu vaccination at their own GP practices. 
  • Invitations for COVID boosters for this group will follow and will be by blue envelope for appointments at our community vaccination centres. 

Severely immunosuppressed

  • People who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their last COVID-19 vaccination will be offered a third primary dose and will receive a blue envelope. 

Other at-risk groups  

  • People aged 50-69, people aged 16-49 with a long-term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney diseases, unpaid carers, and those living with someone who is immunosuppressed will be able to book an appointment online from October for both flu vaccination and COVID booster. 
  • Vaccinations will take place in the community vaccination centres across Tayside.

Health and social care workers  

  • Frontline NHS Tayside staff and frontline social care workers are also strongly encouraged to take up the offer of a flu jab and COVID boosters.   
  • Non-frontline NHS Tayside staff are also eligible for flu vaccinations.  
  • Staff can book their flu and COVID booster jabs at www.nhsinform.scot/HSCWvaccination.   
  • Vaccinations will take place in hospitals and community vaccination centres.  Community pharmacies across Tayside will also be offering flu vaccination only for NHS and social care staff.  
  • Care home staff and residents are being offered vaccination in their care homes. 
  • Staff can also access vaccination through the booking portal at www.nhsinform.scot/HSCWvaccination or, for flu only, at community pharmacies.

Children and young people  

  • Primary and secondary school pupils will be offered the flu vaccination at their school, while parents of children aged 2-5 who are not yet at school will have received a letter inviting them to attend a local clinic.

Pregnant women  

  • Pregnant women will be offered flu vaccination by midwifery services as part of their routine antenatal care.

NHS Tayside Associate Director for Public Health Dr Daniel Chandler said, “Flu can be a very serious illness which spreads easily and, with COVID-19 also continuing to circulate in our communities, we need to do all we can to minimise the risk to those who are most vulnerable.

“The effects of flu and COVID could also have a big impact on our health and social care services this winter if staff become unwell and need to take time off work so it’s really important that staff get these vaccinations as early as possible.

“Vaccinations will be delivered in a variety of settings including GP practices, hospitals, community vaccination centres, schools, care homes and community pharmacies.

“We’ve had a great response to the COVID vaccine so far in Tayside with particularly high uptake amongst the most vulnerable groups so I would strongly encourage everyone to take up the offer of the booster, along with the flu jab, when you are invited.”

More information about who is eligible for the flu vaccination is available at www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine and for COVID boosters at www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine.

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