Fall in flu vaccine uptake

NHS Borders is urging people to take up the option of the flu vaccination to protect them this winter.
NHS Borders is urging people to take up the option of the flu vaccination to protect them this winter.

Borders residents in the ‘at-risk under 65’ category for flu vaccinations are being urged to make sure they go for the jab.

The joint director of public health in the Scottish Borders, Dr Tim Patterson, explained that the Borders uptake of the flu vaccine is usually better than the national average but there has been a steady decline across all at risk groups in recent years. The at-risk under 65 population is particularly concerning as uptake is rarely greater than 50%.

Dr Patterson has enlisted the help of Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton to spread the word and encourage people to get the flu vaccine.

“The flu vaccine saves lives and I encourage anyone at risk to take up the vaccine and protect themselves against the flu,” said Ms Hamilton who raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament. “The Borders has a strong performance with flu uptake and I would want this to continue.”

“That being said, a steady decline has been recorded amongst all groups and I would want to see that reversed this year.”