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NHS Grampian's flu vaccination programme steps up a gear

By Jonathan Clark

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THE flu vaccination campaign across NHS Grampian is set to step up a gear as winter approaches.

This is the first year that flu jabs are being offered to schoolchildren, with pre-school jabs also set to get under way soon in Moray.

Attention is now shifting to adults – with everyone who is either over 50, between the ages 16 and 49 with certain health conditions, pregnant, an unpaid carer, health and social care staff or a prisoner or prison officer/support staff eligible to receive the jab for free.

Appointment booking opened for health and social care staff on September 21, and arrangements are being made directly with the Scottish Prison Service to vaccinate eligible adults there.

Care home residents and staff are being offered vaccinations in their care setting, with those who are pregnant to be offered the jab by their community midwife.

Adults over the age of 70 will receive a letter offering them an appointment, while adults aged between 50 and 69 will be asked to register for an appointment using the national online booking system. This is expected to open in early November with more details nearer the time.

Those between the ages of 16 and 49 who are vulnerable, and unpaid and young carers, will also use the national booking system.

It is hoped that all eligible parties will be offered their vaccine by the middle of December.

Susan Webb, NHS Grampian's director of public health, said: “We have already made huge progress with the child flu immunisation programme.

"This year, for the first time, jabs are being offered to secondary school pupils, all teaching staff and any pupil-facing support staff.

"Any child, or eligible member of staff, absent from school when immunisation teams visit will be able to get their jab at their local community pharmacy from November.

"Pre-school immunisations are under way in Aberdeen City and will shortly commence in Aberdeenshire and Moray.

"Now our attention shifts to the adult population. There are two things we want to make really clear. Firstly, flu vaccination will take place on an appointment only basis. It will not be possible to drop-in to any clinic. This is to allow us to properly manage stock and provide the best experience for all those attending.

"Secondly, GPs are not involved with this programme. Please do not contact your GP regarding flu vaccination as they will not be able to assist you.

“In addition, we also have the Covid-19 booster programme running alongside flu immunisations. Where people are eligible for both, they will be offered both at their appointment. They are not obliged to receive both jabs at the same time and if they choose not to, they will be required to arrange a second appointment.”

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