Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer recommends you have the free flu vaccine every year if you:
- have a health condition (no matter what age you are and how fit and healthy you feel)
- are aged 65 or over
It’s the safest and most effective way to help protect yourself against flu.
Why get the vaccine
Every year in Scotland, around two-thirds of people who get severe flu and need intensive care treatment have a health condition such as chronic lung or heart disease.
Adults with a health condition are more at risk of flu-related complications and need extra protection. Even if you’re young, fit and healthy, and your condition's normally under control.
If you’re aged 65 or over you should also get extra protection.
Who should have the flu vaccine?
Anyone with a health condition is at greater risk from flu. Conditions and diseases which can make flu more dangerous include:
- multiple sclerosis
- liver problems such as cirrhosis/hepatitis
- cystic fibrosis
- asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
- chronic heart disease
- being very overweight
- chronic kidney failure
- HIV infection
If you've any of these conditions, speak to your GP or practice nurse to find out if you should have the flu vaccine.
Anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or anyone on medication that reduces their immunity should get immunised.
If you’re under 18 years and have a health condition (or care for someone who does) you should also get the vaccine. You may be eligible to have the vaccine as a nasal (nose) spray. For more information visit the child flu page.
If you provide care for someone, you may also be eligible for the free flu vaccine. Speak to your GP or practice nurse for more information.