People deemed to be at high risk from flu are being urged to take up the offer of a free seasonal jab.
Those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and younger people with conditions that make them vulnerable to flu will be invited to special vaccination clinics.
Lerwick Health Centre patients who are eligible for the vaccination will be invited to attend one of the fairs at Clickimin Leisure Centre on Tuesday 18th October and Tuesday 1st November. If you are invited to come to one of the flu fairs but cannot make it, please contact the health centre to make other arrangements. If you are pregnant you should speak to your midwife and make an appointment at the health centre rather than attend the flu fair.
Eligible patients registered with Scalloway Health Centre are invited to attend a walk-in clinic on a Saturday morning (8th and 15th October 9.30-11am) or a Wednesday afternoon (12th, 19th, 26th October 2-3.30pm). You do not need an appointment to attend these clinics.
Brae Health Centre patients should attend one of the following clinics: during the afternoon (1.30-4.30pm) of 25th and 27th October; 3rd, 4th and 29th November; or the evening (6-7.30pm) of Tuesdays 15th and 22nd November. These are also walk in clinics, no appointment needed.
Patients registered with the GP practices in Bixter, Hillswick, Levenwick, Unst, Walls, Whalsay and Yell should contact their own practice, or look out for local publicity, to find out how to get their flu jab.
Dr Susan Laidlaw, consultant in public health medicine, said: “Each year there are slightly different strains of seasonal (winter) flu circulating in the community, this is why a new vaccine has to be given each year.
“The vaccine helps to protect people who are more vulnerable to flu and the complications of flu, including people over 65 and those with certain medical conditions. Pregnant women are also more at risk of the complications of flu and they are now routinely being advised to have the flu vaccine. I would encourage all pregnant women to speak with their midwife or GP about having the flu jab.”
The following groups of people are being advised to have the seasonal flu jab this year:
• Everyone aged 65 and over;
• Children over the age of six months and adults with any of the following: a serious heart or respiratory condition; kidney or liver disease; diabetes; lowered immunity due to disease or treatment; multiple sclerosis or other conditions of the nervous system or a stroke.
• Unpaid carers;
• People living in care homes;
• Pregnant women, and women who become pregnant between now and March 2012.
Further information on the national flu vaccination campaign “Don’t let the flu turn on you” is available from the Immunisation Scotland website: www.immunisationscotland.org.uk