West Lothian winter flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster programme underway

The West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) winter flu vaccination and Covid booster programme for 2021 is getting underway.

Stock photo of the first wave of Covid jabs, taken at Forth Valley Hospital. By Michael Gillen.
Stock photo of the first wave of Covid jabs, taken at Forth Valley Hospital. By Michael Gillen.

If you are eligible for a flu jab, you will receive a letter giving you an appointment, or instruct you to make an appointment using an online portal. Over 50s, pregnant people, unpaid carers and those at risk due to existing health conditions will be offered a flu jab.

To check if you are eligible for a flu vaccine, or for more information, go to: www.nhsinform.scot/flu.

In a change to the previous flu vaccination programme, the vaccine will be delivered by the West Lothian HSCP at local clinics, and not at GP surgeries. Eligible residents will be offered a vaccination at a local clinic or in their own home if the individual is housebound.

You may also be eligible for a Covid-19 booster jab this winter. If you are, you may be given both your flu and Covid jabs at the same appointment. However, this will not always be possible.

Alison White, joint director of West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “Your GP practice will not be offering any flu vaccinations or handling bookings this year. We’d ask residents not to contact their GP.

“The process of getting your vaccination, however, will be very similar. You’ll still get a letter, but now it will come from NHS Scotland, inviting you to attend one of our local flu clinics or inviting you to book an appointment.

“It is very important to note that not everyone invited to receive a flu vaccine will be offered an appointment at the clinic closest to their own home due to limited capacity. We’d urge people to make every effort to attend the appointment that they are given, and we’d be grateful if friends and family could assist in helping others get to their appointments.

“If you receive a letter inviting you to attend a flu clinic but you are housebound, please phone the Lothian phone helpline free on 0300 790 6296 for assistance.

“Flu is serious and it is really important to keep yourself and others protected, so please take up the offer of the vaccine if you get a letter. It’s quick, safe and easy. Our teams look forward to seeing many of you at one of our local West Lothian clinics.”

For more information about the winter flu vaccination programme and to see if you’re in a eligible group, visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​