Flu Vaccine HUB

More people than ever before now qualify for a free flu jab.

This year, the flu vaccine is NOT being given to you by your GP. Please do not attend or contact your own GP practice for information on your flu vaccine.

Who can get the flu vaccine?

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer recommends you have the free flu vaccine this year if you:

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

Getting the vaccine is the safest and most effective way to help protect yourself against flu.

Adults who qualify because of their job will get their jab via the staff vaccination programme, or will get details of how to make an appointment from their employers. People who live in care homes or are housebound will get their jab at home via the housebound team.

This year, the flu vaccine is NOT being given to you by your GP. Please do not attend or contact your own GP surgery for information on your flu vaccine.

Community pharmacies will again support the programme by offering flu jabs to frail and elderly people who would struggle to get to one of the vaccination sites

Community pharmacies are only offering flu vaccination, not COVID boosters.

COVID-19 booster

You may also be eligible for a COVID-19 booster jab this winter. If you are, you may be given both you flu and COVID jabs at the same appointment. However, this will not always be possible, and you may have to attend two separate appointments. To find out more about the COVID boosters, visit NHS Inform

How will I get the vaccine?

Those eligible for the free flu vaccination will receive a letter from NHS Scotland offering either a vaccination appointment or inviting patients to register and book a vaccination.

Those aged 70 or over will be contacted by their local NHS health board with details about their appointment.

All other eligible individuals will also receive a letter inviting them to register and book a vaccination. Information about how to arrange your flu vaccination for all other eligible individuals will be available soon. 

Please do not phone your GP practice or NHS 24 for this information.

Alison White, Joint Director of West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said:

"The West Lothian HSCP will be delivering all flu vaccinations to eligible people in West Lothian this year.

"Your GP practice will not be offering any flu vaccinations or handling bookings this year. We'd ask residents not to contact their GP.  

"The process of getting your vaccination, however, will be very similar. You'll still get a letter, but now it will come from NHS Scotland, inviting you to attend one of our local flu clinics or inviting you to book an appointment.

"It is very important to note that not everyone invited to receive a flu vaccine will be offered an appointment at the clinic closest to their own home due to limited capacity. We'd urge people to make every effort to attend the appointment that they are given, and we'd be grateful if friends and family could assist in helping others get to their appointments.  The WL HSCP has no control over the national allocation system for appointments which is operated and controlled by NHS National Services Scotland (NSS).

"If you need help to book an appointment, or further information, please contact the help line on your appointment invitation. Alternatively you can call the local Lothian helpline free on 0300 790 6296 for assistance with re-booking. Please do not contact your GP as they will not be able to help.

"If you receive a letter inviting you to attend a flu clinic but you are housebound, please phone the Lothian phone helpline free on 0300 790 6296 for assistance. They will pass your information to us and we will contact you to arrange an appointment. You will be visited in your own home to be given the flu vaccination as in previous years.

"Flu is serious and it is really important to keep yourself and others protected, so please take up the offer of the vaccine if you get a letter. It's quick, safe and easy. Our teams look forward to seeing many of you at one of our local West Lothian clinics."

Flu vaccine and coronavirus (Covid-19)

Flu vaccination is important because:

  •  more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  • getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses

If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.

Find out about the flu vaccine for children:

Health and social care workers

Health and social care workers can now get their free flu vaccine. Flu is serious. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family and those in your care.

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