NHS Fife says "it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated" as the health board prepares to start its COVID-19 booster and winter flu vaccination drive. 

People aged 80 and over, along with those considered to be most clinically vulnerable, are the first groups being offered vaccination against flu and will be contacted in the coming weeks to invite them to attend for vaccination.

Those who are housebound will instead be visited at home by NHS Fife's vaccination team.

Importantly, those who are eligible for a COVID-19 booster will also be able to receive this at the same appointment as their flu jab so long as they are at least six months from their second dose.

The first appointments are scheduled to take place in mid-October, with patients offered vaccination at their local medical practice or in a community venue as close to their practice as possible.

Patients are reminded not to call their GP practice for updates to enable those requiring urgent assessment to be seen as quickly as possible.

Dr Esther Curnock, NHS Fife’s Deputy Director of Public Health, said: “Flu can be a very serious illness, particularly amongst older people and those with underlying health conditions. With rates of COVID-19 transmission remaining high, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated.

“Vaccination remains the safest and most effective way to help protect against both flu and COVID-19 and appointments take a matter of minutes.

“Those aged 80 and over and those at greatest clinical risk will begin being contacted soon to invite them to attend an appointment for vaccination, and this will be carried out either at their local GP surgery or in a community venue as close to the practice as possible.

“We want to ensure people most at risk of the effects of these viruses have the maximum available protection ahead of winter and so we’re urging everyone who is offered vaccination to take up that offer.”

Local people will be prioritised in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

As was the case with the initial phase of COVID-19 vaccinations earlier this year, those in all other priority groups will be offered appointments at their local community vaccination clinics in the order advised by the JCVI.

For more information on the joint COVID-19 booster and winter flu immunisation campaign in Fife, visit: www.nhsfife.org/fvcv.