At risk groups not vaccinated against flu

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Figures have shown that more than half of Borderers in the ‘at risk’ group for flu have yet to take up the offer of a vaccination.

The statistics, released earlier this week and highlighted by Scotland’s most senior medical officer Sir Harry Burns, revealed that 52 per cent of people under-65 with underlying health problems have yet to be protected as well of 50 per cent of pregnant women and 45 per cent of two and three year olds.

Photo by Jayne Wright. Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns.

Photo by Jayne Wright. Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns.

This year’s flu vaccination campaign began on October 1 and those with conditions such as asthma, diabetes and cystic fibrosis, as well as pregnant women, can be hit harder by symptoms and suffer more serious complications, making it all the more vital for them to be protected.

Sir Harry Burns commented: “Flu strikes suddenly and it’s important to be prepared. If you have a long-term medical condition, the best way to protect yourself is to get the vaccine. It is not too late for those who have not received their flu vaccine to do so.

“The flu vaccine only takes a few minutes, but will offer protection for around 12 months.”

“It is equally as important to ensure that if your child is invited to get vaccinated against flu, you take up the offer as children are unlikely to have built up immunity from previous infections. In fact, youngsters are two to three times as likely to be ill with flu than adults.

Dr Tim Patterson, flu immunisation co-ordinator at NHS Borders, added: “Flu survives better in a cold environment and flu viruses will circulate across Scotland as we move deeper into winter. People need to be aware that flu is much worse than a bad cold and can make adults and children very unwell.”