‘At risk’ people are failing to get their flu jab

The Australian flu can stay with you for one or two weeks.
The Australian flu can stay with you for one or two weeks.

Less than half of people under 65 reckoned to be “at risk” have had their flu jab this winter - and cases have more than doubled since last year.

The Health Secretary and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) are urging all eligible adults to take up the offer of free flu vacccination, both for their own good and to ease the strain on busy emergency departments.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The flu virus can make even healthy people very unwell – and puts extra pressure on our health service at what is already a very busy time of year.

“The flu vaccine offers the best defence against the most common strains of the virus circulating this year and has an excellent safety record.

CMO Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “Every year in Scotland, around two thirds of people who get severe flu and need intensive care treatment have a health condition such as chronic lung or heart disease.

“Given that we’ve already seen a large increase in cases of flu this winter, I’d encourage those who are eligible – including those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers – to make getting the vaccination a priority and book an appointment with their GP practice or health board as soon as possible.”