Over 65s in Scotland urged to fight flu with annual vaccination
Posted 25 October, 2012
People over 65 years old across Scotland are being urged to protect themselves against serious complications from flu by getting the free annual vaccination.
With winter fast approaching, it’s important that everyone in Scotland who is eligible for the flu jab receives it as early as possible to give them the best possible protection against the dreaded virus.
If you’re over 65 years old you’re in an ‘at risk’ group so catching flu doesn’t just mean a few days in bed – it can cause severe symptoms that can last for a week or more. In some cases it can even develop into something much worse such as being hospitalised with pneumonia.
Chills, fever, nasal and sinus congestion, sore throat and extreme fatigue are all common symptoms of flu but you can help to protect yourself against this by getting the flu jab at your local GP surgery or health centre.
Sir Harry Burns, said,
“Flu strikes suddenly and it’s important to be prepared. Pharmacists will be able to offer advice on medicines that help to reduce temperatures and ease the symptoms of flu but if you are in one of the ‘at-risk’ groups, the best way to protect yourself is to get the jab.”
“It only takes a few minutes to get the flu jab, but this will protect you for 12 months. Take up the offer of the jab to ensure that you’re protected, as there’s nothing worse that suffering from a health condition, together with flu.”
You may have received the flu jab last year but it’s important that you’re vaccinated again this year. The flu virus changes regularly, so every year a new vaccine is developed to protect against new strains of the virus.
The vaccine is completely safe, and contrary to popular myths, it doesn’t contain live viruses so you won’t catch flu from the vaccine. The vaccine works by helping your body to recognise and fight the virus so if you experience symptoms such as a runny nose or achiness for a day or so after getting the jab, that means your immune system is responding and the jab is working.
Once you have received the vaccine it will take around ten days to work and will protect you from flu for about a year.
It’s quick and easy to protect yourself from flu so don’t delay, make an appointment with your GP or healthcare centre to received the flu jab.
For further information on the flu jab, log on to www.immunisationscotland.org.uk