Parents are being urged to take their children for their flu vaccination.
Latest figures for the isles show almost half (47 per cent) of those aged 65 or over, over a quarter of pregnant women (26 per cent) and a quarter (25 percent) of those in ‘at risk’ groups have been vaccinated against flu since the national immunisation programme got underway in October 2016.
‘At risk’ groups include people with asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, heart and lung diseases.
Nearly two fifths (39 per cent) of two to five-year-olds are have received their nasal vaccination.
However the deputy chief medical officer for Scotland has encouraged all parents to consider making an appointment with their GP practice to get their two to five-year-old vaccinated to fight the flu.
The free flu vaccine is being offered to around two million people in Scotland – including those with heart disease, those with health conditions which can make them more vulnerable to flu such as diabetes, asthma and bronchitis, pregnant women and children aged two to five.
Dr Susan Laidlaw, flu immunisation co-ordinator for Shetland, said:
“It’s very important that children between the ages of two and five receive the flu vaccination this winter.
“The vaccine is the best defence against flu and not only helps to protect your children, but also helps to reduce the spread of flu.
“Getting the vaccine only takes a few minutes and will help to provide them with protection for around a year.”
To find out more about the flu vaccine and its benefits, visit immunisationscotland.org.uk/flu or call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.