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Hopes more people will be given flu vaccine this year

Ministers urged everyone with underlying health conditions to have the flu vaccine
Ministers urged everyone with underlying health conditions to have the flu vaccine

More than two million people will be given the chance to get the flu vaccine as part of a newly launched national initiative.

For the first time, all parents of pre-school children will be contacted in an effort to ensure as many youngsters as possible get immunised.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt launched the Ready for Flu program yesterday, and said she hoped it would result in “more people being vaccinated than ever before”.

The Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP, who is eligible for the vaccine as an asthmatic, said: “As the national flu immunisation programme gets underway, I want to encourage all those who are eligible to join with us in being ready for flu.

“I will be getting the vaccine this year as I have every year, as I have asthma and know that getting flu could have a serious impact on my health. I’d rather make sure I’m covered and not have to worry about the consequences.

“The flu vaccine offers the best defence against the most common strains of the virus circulating this year and has an excellent safety record.

“This year will see us targeting all parents of children aged two to five, to encourage them to make an appointment with their GP if they want their child vaccinated. We’re hoping this will lead to more people being vaccinated than ever before.”

The free vaccination will be offered to people with underlying health conditions, those who are pregnant and those that are older than 65.

Over 550,000 children aged between two to 11 years old will be offered the nasal spray vaccination, following the extension of the flu vaccination programme in 2014.

Children aged five to 11 will be vaccinated at school, with those aged two to five offered the vaccination at their GP practice.

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