Those eligible for flu vaccine urged to get it

Ampule and syringe

Ampule and syringe

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Local people eligible for a free flu vaccination are being urged to have the treatment to protect themselves.

Over 51 per cent of people in Tayside with underlying health conditions are yet to receive the flu vaccine, whilst 64 percent of pregnant women have still to get vaccinated against flu.

Health professionals across the country are reminding people who are ‘at risk’ that as the virus is now widely circulating they should get their annual flu vaccine as soon as possible.

People with chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, heart problems, diabetes, kidney or liver disease lowered immunities and pregnant women, can be hit harder by flu and suffer more serious complications, even if they are generally fit and healthy.

These groups are eligible to receive the vaccine for free at their local GP surgery.

The figures were announced at the same time it was revealed that GP consultations for flu increased during December.

Dr Daniel Chandler, flu immunisation co-ordinator at NHS Tayside, said: “The flu virus circulates easier in low temperatures and as winter progresses flu viruses are continuing to spread across Scotland.

“It is vital that those who are eligible make an appointment to get the vaccination as soon as possible, and help start the New Year in good health.

“It only takes a few minutes and even if you were immunised against flu last winter it is important to receive the vaccine again, as the viruses change each season.”

“Flu is much worse than the common cold and can cause serious health complications for those in the at risk groups. ”

If you would like to find out more information about the flu vaccine, contact NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 or log on to www.immunisationscotland.org.uk.