Vaccine is the best defence against flu virus

Kirstin, pictured with one year-old Alice, has received her flu vaccine.

Kirstin, pictured with one year-old Alice, has received her flu vaccine.

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Flu is much worse than a bad cold and can make even healthy people very unwell.

The best defence against flu is this year’s vaccine.

Over the last five years, around 500 deaths have occurred each winter which can be related to flu, so it is important to protect yourself against the virus.

The free flu vaccine is available at GP surgeries and clinics to protect people from the most common strains of flu circulating this winter.

The vaccine only takes a few seconds to receive, takes around ten days to work and will help provide protection from flu for around a year.

One person who has taken up the offer of the flu vaccine is Kirstin Pollock (32), who has a one-year-old daughter, Alice, and is pregnant with her second child.

She was keen to protect the health of her unborn baby as well as safeguard her own health.

Kirstin said: “It would be awful to get the flu while pregnant as there is enough to worry about when waiting for a new arrival.

“As I’m seven months pregnant I visited my GP practice for the vaccine as I want to protect myself and my unborn baby from the dangers of flu.

“I wouldn’t want to risk becoming sick, with potentially much worse consequences for both me and my unborn baby.

“The vaccine will help to protect me from flu for up to a year.

“It also helps to protect my baby for the first three months after the birth, which is great news and a weight off my shoulders.

“The flu vaccination was quick and painless. I now feel assured that I’ve made the right decision, knowing that my baby and I are both better protected from flu for the winter months ahead.

“I would definitely recommend that other pregnant ladies find out more about the flu vaccination programme by speaking to their midwife or by making an appointment with their practice nurse as soon as possible.

“It’s not worth taking the risk of catching flu.”

Show flu who’s boss by getting the vaccine.

For more about the seasonal flu immunisation programme visit www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/flu or call NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.

Who can get the vaccine free of charge?

The flu vaccination is available for free to people aged 65 and over, those under 65 with an underlying condition that puts them at greater risk, pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, unpaid carers and healthcare workers.

Children aged 2-5 years and not yet in primary school, as well as primary school children, will be offered the vaccine using a simple nasal spray.