At-risk Falkirk residents urged to get flu jag

Forth Valley had a high uptake of the vaccine last year

Forth Valley had a high uptake of the vaccine last year

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Health chiefs are urging people in the Falkirk area to get the flu jab.

Last year, Forth Valley had the best uptake in Scotland of over-65s and carers.

However, thousands of under 65s in the at risk group – 40 per cent of those eligible – failed to get inoculated.

Dr Henry Prempeh, NHS Forth Valley’s public health consultant, said: “It is definitely worth getting a flu jab. Flu is much more than a bad cold. This virus can cause chills, fever, muscle aches and a sore throat. It can also cause headaches, coughing, sneezing and extreme fatigue.

“In the most serious cases, it can lead to pneumonia which can result in death.”

The vaccine does not contain a ‘live’ virus so it is impossible to catch flu as a result of getting the jab.

Dr Prempah added: “It only takes a few minutes to get vaccinated but will give you protection against swine flu and other more common seasonal flu viruses for around a year.”

Those deemed to be at risk are the over 65s and those under 65 with chronic illnesses which can make flu more dangerous, including those with heart disease, chest complaints, chronic kidney failure, cystic fibrosis, HIV infection, liver problems, diabetes or with lowered immunity due to disease or treatment, such as steroid medication or cancer treatment.

Pregnant women and unpaid carers are also eligible.