News

Boosting protection

Published: 01 Nov 2021 00:01

Marketing campaign highlights benefits of flu and COVID-19 booster jabs.

TV and radio adverts begin airing today (Monday) encouraging everyone who is eligible for either or both of the flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations to take up the offer when invited.

The Autumn/Winter vaccination programme has been underway since September with people in the highest risk groups vaccinated first, and those aged 60 to 69  and over-16s with underlying health conditions currently receiving their appointments through the post. For those in the underlying health conditions group, the type of health condition will guide whether they will be offered a flu jab, the COVID-19 booster, or both vaccines.

Later this month, an online portal will launch to allow people aged 50 to 59, unpaid carers who are 16 and over, and those aged 16 and over who are household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals to book their Autumn/Winter vaccination appointments online.

The Autumn/Winter vaccination programme is working to reduce the risks of  COVID-19 and flu. Wherever possible, those eligible for both the flu vaccine and COVID-19 boosters will receive both on the same day. This is safe and effective to do.

Details about who is eligible for these vaccinations are available on NHS Inform.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“We are keen to stress that everyone who is eligible for either of these vaccinations will be offered them. These TV and radio adverts urge people to check which jabs they qualify for on NHS Inform and to take up the offer when they get it.

“Appointments for both vaccines are being scheduled based on clinical need and age. Many of those who routinely have the flu vaccine are also eligible for a COVID-19 booster, and so will be protected from both illnesses.

“The Autumn/Winter vaccination programme is continuing at pace and running well. COVID-19 booster vaccination can usually only take place six months (24 weeks) after the second dose, although there is now further flexibility to offer vaccination to the most vulnerable groups after five months, which will increase the number of people able to have both vaccinations at the same time.

"We started the programme as soon as possible following advice from the JCVI in September.  It is important to note that many people in the original early priority cohorts of the initial vaccination programme already had a six month gap prior to this advice being given.

“The Autumn/Winter vaccination programme includes a record number of free flu vaccines to help protect the people of Scotland, reaching more than 3 million people.

“Flu can be extremely serious and is very infectious. With COVID-19 still circulating in the community we can best protect those most at risk as well as ease pressure on our National Health Service and social care services by encouraging everyone eligible to get vaccinated.”

Background

To find out more about vaccine eligibility and when you will be invited visit nhsinform.scot/fluandcovid19vaccsguide

For more information about the flu vaccine, visit nhsinform.scot/fluvaccine   

For more information about the COVID-19 booster visit nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinebooster