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Don't let your protection fade – Covid-19 and flu vaccination campaign launched

By Alan Beresford

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THOSE eligible for the flu and Covid-19 vaccines this winter are urged to come forward for vaccination.

Those eligible for Covid-19 and flu vaccinations are being urged to book an appointment.
Those eligible for Covid-19 and flu vaccinations are being urged to book an appointment.

With more than one million Covid-19 vaccines administered so far this winter, Public Health Scotland (PHS) is encouraging eligible people to take up the offer of their Covid-19 and flu vaccines as soon as possible.

During the colder winter months when people stay indoors for longer, and in larger groups, there is an increase in the number of people experiencing coughs, colds and flu-like illnesses.

Vaccination remains the best way to protect against flu and Covid-19 and PHS are strongly encouraging eligible people to take up the vaccination offer now, to help avoid missing out on socialising with friends and family over the peak winter season.

This year’s winter vaccination programme is focused on protecting those most vulnerable to flu and Covid-19. In particular, people with underlying health conditions, such as heart conditions or liver disease, that put them at greater risk of severe illness from flu and Covid-19.

Pregnant women are strongly recommended to take up the vaccines, as these give them and their babies the best possible protection against serious illness from the viruses.

All health and social care workers are eligible for the free flu vaccine, with frontline workers also eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine offers protection against the most likely circulating strains.

The winter vaccination programme for 2023 is well under way, with Health Boards across Scotland delivering flu and Covid-19 vaccines at pace to those eligible this season.

While many eligible people have booked their vaccination appointment, those that have not should do so as soon as possible. There is now increased availability, so anyone who previously had difficulty getting an appointment on the booking portal is encouraged to please try again. Alternatively, look at whether the local Health Board is running drop-in clinics where an appointment is not necessary.

To check eligibility for vaccination and to book an appointment, visit www.nhsinform.scot/wintervaccines

Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science, PHS said: “Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and others and we’re pleased to see so many people coming forward to take up the offer.

“Evidence shows that Covid-19 vaccine protection fades and the flu virus changes over time. The vaccinations offered this season top up your protection against severe illness from Covid-19 and flu.

“Those that have not yet received their vaccinations are encouraged to come forward and make an appointment or check local arrangements. There are a range of vaccination sites available in each Health Board, with some now offering drop-ins too."

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