PROTECT yourself, protect your community’ is the message being promoted to everyone eligible to receive a free flu vaccine this year.
Health staff in Dumfries and Galloway have been taking up the offer of vaccinations in large numbers – knowing that this provides the best defence for services this winter and helps protect the most vulnerable members of our communities.
And members of the public are being asked to do their part to help ensure the best possible level of protection.
Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Community Health and Social Care Manager Graham Abrines is seen receiving his flu vaccination in a new video promoting the vaccination campaign, and he said: “It’s crucial that as many people as possible take up the chance to be vaccinated against the flu this year.
“Last year we saw just how much of a challenge our services faced because of the number of people affected by the flu.
“Dumfries and Galloway has a very large and growing older population, and many of the people within these age groups have chronic, underlying health conditions which make them particularly vulnerable.
“The flu not only puts them at risk but also stretches our services, with a knock-one impact for treatment and care across a range of areas.”
In a newly-produced video, Mr Abrines is seen speaking to Specialist Practitioner in Occupational Health Bev Farish before receiving his vaccination.
Mr Abrines said: “The video shows that getting your vaccination is very quick and painless, but extremely important.
“Just that couple of minutes can make a huge difference – in helping to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the health and care services within our region. Please, do get vaccinated.”
This year, three types of flu vaccine are being used in the adult flu programme.
This will benefit patients by ensuring that they have the most suitable vaccine that gives them the best protection against flu.
People eligible to receive a flu vaccination are those aged over 65, schoolchildren, pregnant women, carers and health care staff and people with chronic health conditions.
Those aged over 75 in Scotland are eligible for a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four strains of the flu.
Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Nigel Calvert said: “We had a good uptake of flu vaccinations last year, particularly among diabetics, pregnant women and also the over 65s, where uptake rose to 75.9 per cent.
“But even so, at any one time Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary was having to accommodate an entire ward of 28 people who had been admitted because of the flu.
“This shows how important it is that everyone eligible takes up the opportunity.
“Flu is very infectious and can be serious. That’s why we’re urging people who are at risk not to delay in getting their flu vaccination, ahead of winter setting in.
“Even if you feel healthy, flu can hit you hard, and result in complications which can lead to hospitalisation.
“The vaccine remains the best defence against flu, and I’d encourage those eligible to make getting vaccinated a priority. By everyone playing their part, we can stop the spread of flu this winter.”
To find out more about flu vaccinations, and how to obtain your free vaccination, visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/vaccines/flu-vaccine
To view the video of Graham Abrines receiving his flu vaccination, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNAibp8ZG8o
Specialist Practitioner in Occupational Health Bev Farish provides a flu vaccination to Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Community Health and Social Care Manager Graham Abrines, as everyone eligible is urged to take up the chance of the free vaccination