NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Partick Thistle have teamed up with the goal of getting more people vaccinated against flu than ever before.
Emilia Crighton, NHSGGC’s director of Public Health, joined Partick Thistle strikers David Amoo and Christie Elliot, and mascot Kingsley to launch the health board’s annual flu immunisation programme.
Almost 500,000 people across Greater Glasgow & Clyde will be offered the free vaccine. People with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those older than 65 are being targeted as flu can lead to serious complications which may need hospital treatment.
For the first time, this year’s campaign will see the parents of 40,000 pre-school children contacted and encouraged to make an appointment with their GP to get their child vaccinated. In addition, more than 85,000 primary school children will be vaccinated at school.
Emilia said: “The national flu immunisation programme has just begun and I would encourage anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as early as they can.
“I’m hoping this year will see us vaccinate more people across Greater Glasgow & Clyde than ever before.
“For the first time we are targeting the parents of children aged 2-5 and encouraging them to make an appointment with their GP to get their child vaccinated. Even if you or your child were immunised against flu last year it is important to get the vaccine again this year, as the virus keeps changing.
“The vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which causes severe illness and deaths each year. The most at-risk groups include older people, pregnant women and those with a chronic health condition, even if their condition is well-managed.
“The vaccine can take up to 14 days to work so it makes sense for everyone in the eligible groups to make an appointment with their GP now. I would encourage people to get vaccinated before December which is usually the beginning of the flu season.”
Children aged 2-11 years are being offered a nasal spray vaccine whilst adults will be given an injection to help protect them from flu.
The following groups are eligible for the flu vaccine: