What is flu?
Flu is much more than a bad cold. It’s a virus which can make even healthy people feel very unwell. In the most serious cases, flu can bring on pneumonia, or other serious infections which can, in extreme cases, result in death.
In Scotland the flu season usually begins as the weather gets colder, so get the vaccine as soon as you can. It is available from October through to the end of March. But remember, during the flu season it’s never too soon to get vaccinated.
Flu is often spread through the air by coughs and sneezes. It can also be caught by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.
Who needs the flu vaccination?
Anyone who suffers from a health condition, who is pregnant, who is 65 or over or those who work in healthcare, should get the flu vaccine.
If you have a health condition, flu can hit you hardest. The vaccine is the safest and most effective way of protecting yourself.
Conditions and diseases which can make flu much more dangerous include:
- cystic fibrosis
- chronic heart disease
- chronic kidney failure
- multiple sclerosis
- liver problems (such as cirrhosis/hepatitis)
- HIV infection.
If you have any of the listed conditions or any other health condition, even if you feel fit and healthy, please speak to your GP to find out if you should have the flu vaccine. Flu can seriously affect you, so, it’s worthwhile getting immunised to avoid unnecessary worry for you and those close to you.
If you are pregnant, you are at greater risk of complications from flu. Having the vaccine now could help you avoid catching flu and protect your baby.
If you have children who suffer from any of the conditions above, they should be vaccinated too.
Anyone undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment should also get vaccinated.
Recieve a carer's allowance or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person, who's welfare may be at risk if you fall ill. Please discuss this with your GP
How does the flu vaccine work?
Simply contact the surgery to arrange an appointment. The flu vaccine is free to everyone in Scotland with a health condition, who is pregnant or who is 65 or over, and to those who work in healthcare.
You want to get on with life without worrying about catching flu. So arrange your vaccination as soon as you can.
Is the vaccine safe?
The Scottish Government has no safety concerns about the vaccines used in the seasonal flu programme. As with all medicines used in Scotland, the influenza vaccines undergo rigorous safety testing by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and no new concerns were reported. The MHRA continues to monitor the safety of these vaccines.
The following booklet provides advice and guidance on the childhood flu immunisation (aged 2-5 years old who are not yet at primary school). A leaflet on what to expect after the flu vaccine can also be downloaded.
The following booklet provides advice and guidance on the flu immunisation for adults with health conditions and adults aged 65 and over.
The following booklet provides advice and guidance on the flu immunisation for healthcare workers.
The following booklet provides advice and guidance on the flu immunisation for pregnant women.