News

Flu and COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

Published: 25 Oct 2021 11:57

Invitation letters for next eligible groups.

Scotland’s flu and COVID-19 Booster programmes are continuing with pace as people aged 60 to 69 and adults aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions will start to receive invitations for their flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations through the post from today.

Appointments for this group will take place at a local community clinic and will run from late October and throughout November.

Currently, as per JCVI advice, we are vaccinating people in the highest risk groups for both flu and COVID-19 including those who are aged 70 years and over, people in older adult care homes, those who are on the Highest Risk List and frontline health and social care workers.

In addition we are delivering flu vaccinations to children under 2 years old who have underlying health conditions, preschool children aged 2-5, all school pupils, pregnant women and all NHS healthcare workers.  

The winter flu and COVID-19 vaccination programme is working together to reduce the risks for both types of illness. Wherever possible, those eligible for the booster jab will receive both the flu vaccine and COVID-19 boosters on the same day. This is safe and effective to do.

More than 1.5 million COVID-19 and flu vaccinations have been administered since September 6.

For those in the underlying health conditions group, the type of health condition will guide whether they will be given a flu jab, the COVID-19 booster, or both vaccines.

Details on who is eligible for these vaccinations and when they can expect an invitation are available on NHS Inform.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“For those eligible for the COVID-19 boosters, appointments can only take place six months (24 weeks) after your second dose. As such, it may take several weeks before you receive your invitation letter. We remain on track with Scotland’s booster programme prioritising those at the highest risk for both COVID-19 and flu.

"We started this as soon as possible following the JCVI advice - that the booster dose should be offered no earlier than six months after completion of the primary vaccine course. It is important to note that many people in the original early priority cohorts of the initial vaccination programme had already had a 6 month gap prior to this JCVI advice.

“In addition to delivering the COVID-19 vaccine boosters, this year we are offering a record number of free flu vaccines to help protect the people of Scotland. It is the biggest ever flu vaccination programme in Scotland reaching over 3 million people.

“Appointments for both vaccines are being scheduled based on clinical need and age and it will take until the middle of January for everyone to be offered their vaccines. Boosters will be offered to many of the groups who routinely have the flu vaccine to protect people from both illnesses. To support this, we are ensuring those most vulnerable are vaccinated first.

“But I would like to stress, everyone who is eligible will be offered a vaccination. If you haven’t received your appointment letter yet, please be patient. You do not have to do anything now - you will be contacted, notifying you of your appointment.

“The flu virus changes every year, so you need to get the vaccine every year to stay protected. The vaccine cannot give you flu, but it can help stop you catching it, or suffering severe symptoms. The COVID-19 vaccine does not offer any protection from flu, you need to get the separate flu vaccine.

“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 against flu.”

Background

To find out more about vaccine eligibility and when you will be invited visit, www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-flu-and-coronavirus-covid-19-booster-vaccinations

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

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