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With COVID-19 around, it’s more important than ever that Fifers get vaccinated against flu.

Every year in Scotland, thousands of people are affected by flu and vaccination remains the safest and most effective way to protect yourself.

People with underlying health conditions and those aged 65 and over, are amongst the most vulnerable to the effects of flu and are offered a free flu jab.

This year for the first time those living in the same household as a person shielding during the initial response to COVID-19 are also entitled to flu vaccination.

NHS Fife Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Esther Curnock, said:

“Flu is often a very serious virus and with the ongoing risk of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated against flu.

“It is vital that those who are eligible accept their invitation to be immunised and get protected ahead of peak flu season. The flu jab remains the safest and most effective way to help protect against flu and its complications and getting vaccinated takes only a few minutes.

“The vaccine takes around 10 days to work, so the sooner you get it the sooner you are protected against the virus and its effects.”

A number of changes have been made to the delivery of flu vaccination this year. Rather than attend their local GP practice to get the flu jab, those eligible should have received a letter asking them to make an appointment to attend one of the many vaccination clinics taking place across Fife.

The new vaccination clinics are being held at community venues across the Kingdom and strict infection prevention and control measures are in place to protect those attending along with the healthcare staff running the clinics.

While there were particular issues booking appointments last month due to exceptional demand for flu vaccination, these issues have since been resolved and waiting times are down to less than five minutes by phone, with emails answered within three working days.

Dr Curnock is urging eligible people to get vaccinated:

“We know that local people experienced issues trying to arrange appointments last month, however, these issues are now resolved and we continue to have appointments available for those who are eligible.

“Crucially, it’s not too late to get vaccinated against flu so we are urging people aged 65 and over, and those with an underlying health conditions who have not yet been vaccinated, to get in touch as soon as possible to arrange an appointment at a clinic local to them.”

The following groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination:-

  • aged 65 and over;
  • or have an eligible health condition;
  • or you are an unpaid / young carer;
  • or you live in the same household as people previously shielding.

Visit: www.nhsinform.scot/flu-local-clinics to find out about more about the local flu vaccination programme and more details of all of the different eligible groups.

Appointments can be booked by calling: 01383 674111, or alternatively vaccination can be arranged by email at: [email protected].  Most people should have received a letter; however, if you haven’t had letter but think you fall into one of these groups, please contact us to let us know.