Every year in Scotland, thousands of people are hospitalised with flu. Getting vaccinated is the safest, most effective way to protect yourself.
Vaccinating more people than ever
Flu immunisation begins in autumn. This year, with coronavirus (COVID-19) circulating, the flu vaccine is being offered to more people than ever before in Scotland.
The following groups are eligible for the free flu vaccine this year:
- All primary school children
- Children aged 2 to 5 (children must be aged 2 years or above on 1 September 2020 and not yet in school)
- Anyone aged 65 and over (by 31 March 2021)
- Anyone with an eligible health condition
- Pregnant women
- Healthcare workers
- Social care workers who provide direct personal care
- Unpaid and young carers
- Those living in the same home as people previously shielding from coronavirus
A second phase is planned to begin in December and will include those aged 55 to 64 (by 31 March 2021) who would not usually be eligible.
The vaccine's the best defence against flu
The vaccine is safe, effective and is the best protection against flu.
It reduces your risk of getting flu and spreading it to others, especially those who are most at risk.
You have to be immunised every year because the virus changes each year and your immunity reduces over time. The vaccine takes around ten days to work so the sooner you get it the better. Help our NHS avoid the pressure that a spike in seasonal flu would put on top of coronavirus.
Flu appointments are safe
Getting your flu vaccine is one of the most important reasons for leaving your home. Strict infection prevention and control measures will be in place during vaccination.
If you are eligible due to a health condition, the risk of getting seriously ill with the flu virus is greater than the risk of going to get your vaccine.
If you need to use public transport to get to your appointment, this counts as essential travel.
If you're not in an eligible group
If you're 16 years old, or over, and not in one of the eligible groups for the free flu vaccine, you can get the vaccine in many community pharmacies for a fee.