'Don't miss out on your free flu vaccination!' That's the message from NHS Greater Glasgow.
From September 29, 2003, thousands of people aged 65 plus across Greater Glasgow will be offered the free vaccination by their GP.
And it's not just older people who will be able to get the jab. Those with chronic heart and chest complaints, kidney diseases, diabetes, those with a lower immunity to disease or treatment and anyone else with any other long-term medical complaint will also be offered the vaccination.
Last year, NHS Greater Glasgow staff nearly made the national target of 70% uptake of the vaccination. This year they hope to surpass this target by encouraging all of Glasgow's 143,000 over 65s to get the jab.
Dr Syed Ahmed, Consultant in Public Health Medicine said: "Although flu can simply be a nasty experience for the majority of people, for some unfortunate people it can lead to far more serious illnesses including pneumonia. This can lead to the need for hospital admission and can, in some cases result in death.
"Our advice is don't take the chance - get your free flu vaccination as soon as you can."
Dr Ahmed also suggested that while patients are arranging to have their flu jab with their GP, they should also ask about getting a Pneumococcal vaccination at the same time.
For the first time, NHS Greater Glasgow is giving over 65s the opportunity to be vaccinated against Pneumococcal disease. This is a term used to describe a range of illnesses such as pneumonia, blood poisoning and meningitis.
The second vaccination is also available free from your GP and one single jab will offer protection from such diseases for a lifetime in the vast majority of people.
The flu vaccination is available from October to December and the Pneumococcal vaccination is available all year round.
For further information and for advice on your eligibility for the free vaccinations please contact your GP or call the Scottish NHS Helpline on 0800 22 44 88 between 8.00 am - 10.00pm.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The figure of 143,000 covers all over 65s living within the GGNHSB area.
For further information, contact:
Dawn Nelson Tel: 0141 201 4912 or
E-mail: [email protected]