Health chiefs call on eligible people to get the flu vaccination

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People in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area who are eligible for the flu vaccine are being urged to get protected before the end of the year.

New uptake figures for the region show the percentage of people yet to be vaccinated, and the call has been issued to ensure those with underlying health conditions and parents of children aged 2-5 contact their GP practice to arrange their vaccination to reduce the risk of catching flu.

The figures highlight those still to receive the vaccine include:

n61 per cent of people under 65 with underlying health problems such as asthma

n 59 per cent of pregnant women

n65 per cent of 2-5 year olds

People with conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, those with lowered immunities and women who are pregnant, can be hit harder by flu and suffer more serious complications, even if they are generally fit and healthy.

This year’s vaccination programme has been extended to include 2-11 year olds, as they are two to three times more likely to be ill with flu than adults.

Approximately 550,000 children will be given the nasal flu vaccine this year. Parents of children aged 2-5 who are not yet in school should contact their GP practice to arrange their vaccination. Children aged 5-11 are being offered the vaccination in school.

Dr Nicola Steedman, Senior Medical Officer for the Scottish Government Flu campaign, said: “Flu can strike suddenly and it’s important to be prepared.

“ If you have a long-term medical condition, the best way to protect yourself against the serious effects of flu is to get vaccinated, even if you are feeling perfectly well.”

If you would like to find out more information about the flu vaccine, you can contact NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 . Alternatively log on to www.immunisationscotland.org.uk.