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The Scottish Government’s free seasonal flu vaccine programme is set to be extended to protect those most at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who will become eligible for the vaccine will be social care workers, people aged 55 years and over, and household members of those who are shielding.
The programme may also be extended to those aged between 50-54 if there is enough supplies.
The vaccine will still be available to those aged 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, children aged two to five years, primary school children, health care workers and unpaid carers.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: ‘The seasonal flu vaccination programme helps to protect the most vulnerable and alleviate pressure on the NHS. This will be more important than ever this year, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘That’s why this flu season, we are extending free eligibility to social care workers who provide direct care, household members of individuals who are shielding, all those aged 55 and over, and those aged 50-54 if vaccine supplies allow.
‘We want to reassure those who may now feel anxious about leaving home to get vaccinated. Getting the seasonal flu vaccine, especially when you have free eligibility, is one of the ways that you can support the NHS whilst protecting yourself and others this winter.
‘If you think you are eligible for the vaccine, please visit NHS Inform, and if you receive a letter inviting you to get a vaccine, please follow the instructions.’