Fife pupils start to receive their flu vaccine

Scotland's flu vaccination programme has launched this month, nine months after the coronavirus vaccination programme started north of the border

Fife's primary and secondary school pupils have started to get their flu vaccines.

It's as Scotland’s biggest flu immunisation programme has launched this month.

More than four million people will be offered the free flu vaccine across the country, with secondary school pupils eligible for the first time. 

All pupils in primary and secondary are being offered the vaccine up until December.

It's being provided as a painless nasal spray, but an injection in the arm can be given instead in a small number of cases if the nasal spray isn't suitable.

Dr Joy Tomlinson, Director of Public Health for NHS Fife, said: "The roll-out of the flu programme this year has now started in our area with the first pupils getting their flu vaccine in school. 

"Any pupils not in school on the day flu vaccinations are being delivered can contact our Immunisation Team by calling 01383 565456 to arrange an appointment at a community venue. 

"If you’ve not returned your consent form, please return it to the school as soon as possible."

The flu virus changes every year meaning that a vaccine is needed each year to stay protected.

Flu cannot be given through the vaccine, but the jag can play its part to stop catching the illness.

But the coronavirus vaccine does not offer any protection from flu, so the flu vaccine is separately needed.

Maree Todd MSP, the Scottish Government's Public Health Minister, said: "More people than ever are being offered the flu vaccine and we hope to see a large uptake amongst pupils as we aim to keep flu out of schools this year. 

"Last year with the public health measures that were in place, there were lower levels of flu than there has been in previous years so our immunity levels to flu may be lower this year.

"The vaccines are safe and the best way to help protect you, and others, from flu this winter."

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