Health workers and social workers are now receiving their booster dose.
As winter sets in and cold weather begins, flu season is just around the corner.
This means that more of us feel uncomfortable, whether it’s the dreaded Covid-19, the flu, or the common cold.
To keep Scots as protected as possible, vaccination programs are moving ahead at full speed.
But who will be offered a booster, who is eligible for the flu shot this year and when will they be offered?
Here’s all you need to know.
Who is eligible for the booster dose?
Like other vaccines, the level of protection from the Covid vaccine may decrease over time.
For this reason, some people will be offered a third dose of the vaccine to ensure that the highest level of protection is provided as the winter months approach.
The extra dose will also provide longer term protection.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) recommends that the booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine be offered to:
- those living in nursing homes for the aged
- front-line health and social service workers
- all adults 50 years of age or older
- adults aged 16 to 49 with an underlying medical condition
conditions that put them at a higher risk for severe coronavirus
- adult caregivers (from 16 years old)
- household contacts (aged 16 years or older) of immunocompromised people
How and when to get your COVID-19 booster shot
Those who are eligible for the booster dose will be offered their injection at least six months after their second dose.
Most people will be invited to book their appointments online when the time is up. It is therefore important that eligible people do not contact the NHS for six months.
You will either be invited to a vaccination center, a pharmacy or your general practitioner.
The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have a booster dose. It is important not to contact the NHS for one before this date.
Some frontline health or social workers have already received their third dose, those who haven’t can make a booster appointment online now and don’t need to wait until the NHS makes contact.
Who can book online
As explained above, you reserve your COVID-19 booster vaccine dose online if you are a frontline health or social service worker and have not yet received your booster.
You can also book your booster dose online when contacted by the NHS if you have been contacted by the NHS and are either:
- 50 years and over
- aged 16 and over with a medical condition that puts you at high risk for COVID-19
Those who are eligible for the flu shot may be asked to get the flu shot at the same time as their covid booster shot.
Who has or can get a flu shot?
In Scotland, it is recommended that you receive a dose of the flu shot this year if you fall into any of these categories:
- are 50 years of age or older (or will be by March 31, 2022)
- have an eligible health problem
- are an unpaid young caregiver
What are the eligible health conditions?
Those who suffer from chronic illnesses, including respiratory illnesses, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and neurological disease.
Other health issues such as diabetes, immunosuppression, asplenia, and spleen dysfunction mean you are eligible for a dose of the flu shot.
People with morbid obesity are also classified as high risk and therefore are eligible for the jab.
Anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or taking medicines that lower their immunity are at greater risk and should be vaccinated.
If you are under 18 and have a health problem, you can also get the vaccine. Those caring for someone with the health conditions listed above will also be offered a dose. (or take care of someone who does), you should also get the vaccine.
This includes young people and unpaid caregivers.
Unpaid caregivers are those who provide help and support to a partner, child, parent, friend or neighbor who would otherwise be unable to take care of themselves.
Eligible and school-aged people will be offered the flu shot at school.
Unpaid caregivers and young caregivers are also eligible for the free flu shot.
Unpaid caregivers provide help and support to a partner, child, parent, friend or neighbor who could not cope without their help.
It can be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.
Learn more about the flu vaccine on the NHS information website here with information on the covid booster vaccine here.
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