Actor leads new drive to beat the winter flu bug

River City actor Jordan Young launches the drive to boost uptake of flu vaccine, with Albert Miller-Duff (4) and his mum Alison.
River City actor Jordan Young launches the drive to boost uptake of flu vaccine, with Albert Miller-Duff (4) and his mum Alison.

River City actor Jordan Young is urging parents of children aged two to five years to protect themselves and their families against flu.

The dad of two, who also urges adults with health conditions to guard against illness, is backing the key message from health professional ahead of the peak season for flu.

He said: “Flu is dangerous for so many people - that’s why I’m making sure that my children get vaccinated.

“At their age kids bring home all sorts of bugs from nursery and school. With the flu vaccination I know they’re protected from an illness that can really harm them.”

People with conditions like diabetes, heart or breathing problems, had the greatest decline in uptake of the vaccine last year, yet are at greater risk from the complications of flu.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr Henry Prempeh added: “Vaccination provides the best defence against flu and protecting children can also stop it spreading to family, friends and others.”

Dr Jim McMenamin, who leads the seasonal flu immunisation programme at Health Protection Scotland, said: “Flu is much worse than a bad cold.

“Every year in Scotland children are hospitalised for the treatment of flu or its complications. Young children can be especially vulnerable because their immune systems haven’t fully developed yet.

“That’s why we are urging parents to contact their GP or local flu clinic to make an appointment for their child.

“We can’t emphasise enough that the flu vaccine is the safest and most effective protection against the flu virus.”

Pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and people with underlying medical conditions are also urged to get their free vaccine before flu begins to circulate widely.