Vulnerable urged to protect against flu

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Cumbernauld and Kilsyth pensioners, pregnant women and other at risk groups are being urged to vaccinate against flu – no matter how healthy they feel.

The annual vaccination campaign launches this week, with the warning that the flu bug is “much worse than the common cold” and has to be taken seriously.

For children aged two to 11 there’s the option of a nasal spray vaccine to help stop the spread of the infection.

Senior medical officer Dr Nicola Steedman (pictured) said: “Flu is an illness that can cause serious health complications for those at risk.

“Even if you feel fit and healthy, if you have an underlying health condition, are 65 or over, or are pregnant then flu can hit you really hard.

“By taking up the free flu vaccine you can ensure you and your family are getting the best protection from the virus. “

She added: “It only takes a few minutes to receive the vaccine but it will protect you for around a year.

“Even if you were immunised against flu last year, it’s important to receive the vaccine again as the viruses can change every year.

“It’s best to get the flu vaccine before there’s lots of viruses circulating and the vaccine takes ten to 14 days to work, so make an appointment with your GP practice as soon as possible.

“Don’t forget to take your child or grandchild with you if they’re not in school yet and between 2-5 years old, as they are also eligible to be vaccinated.”

Those who are eligible for the flu vaccine are being encouraged to make an appointment with their GP practice to receive the vaccine.

Parents of children aged 2-5 who are not yet in school can now also arrange the appointment for their vaccination.

A record number of people in Scotland are being offered free immunisation.