Community flu jabs underway across Inverclyde
FLU vaccinations are underway at community venues across Inverclyde to allow for social distancing.
Jabs are now being administered on an appointment-only basis at Greenock and Port Glasgow town halls and Kilmacolm Community Centre to make sure people can keep two metres away from others in line with national coronavirus safety rules.
The vaccine will also be offered at Gourock’s Gamble Halls from Monday 12 October.
Inverclyde Council chief executive, Aubrey Fawcett, and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) chief officer, Louise Long, volunteered to be the first critical workers to be vaccinated on Tuesday 29 September to reassure and encourage others to take up their jab.
The vaccine was administered by local GP and HSCP clinical director, Dr Hector Macdonald, who was on hand with a team of community healthcare staff to launch the flu camp at Port Glasgow Town Hall.
It is routinely available on the NHS to: adults who are 65 and over; people with certain medical conditions; pregnant women; children aged two and three years old on 31 August 2020; children in primary school; and frontline health or social care workers.
As many as 30,000 people in Inverclyde could receive the jab this year as the annual immunisation takes on greater significance in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Robert Moran, Inverclyde’s health and social care convener, said: “The flu vaccination programme is normally a big task but is even bigger and more crucial this year in the midst of a global health emergency.
“Like Covid-19, flu can be a killer and we’re fortunate to have a vaccine for that so it’s important that those who are eligible for a jab take advantage of it to protect themselves against this nasty virus whilst we wait for a coronavirus vaccination.”
Letters to attend the community flu venues are being sent to those over the age of 65 directly from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde health board in batches throughout October and November so some may be called sooner than others.
People are being asked to make every effort to attend their appointment and to please use the phone number provided on the letter to advise if they need to rearrange or cancel should they not wish to have a vaccination.
Centres are expected to be very busy so residents are being urged to go alone, unless they require additional support, and do not arrive early.
No-one should attend if they have any Covid-19 symptoms – a fever, new persistent cough, or loss of taste and smell – and everyone must also wear a face covering, unless they are exempt.
Vaccinations will be administered to an arm so those attending are advised to have suitable clothing to allow easy access as there will be no changing facilities or privacy screens.
There will be volunteers available to help people on arrival.
GP practices have begun vaccinating those under 65 in ‘at risk’ groups and they will contact patients directly with details on how to book or to offer an appointment.
Whilst most practices will be using their own building to administer the flu jab, some will invite people to a community venue.
Carers and those who live with someone in the shielding group will be asked to attend local pharmacies.
Community nurses will still carry out home visits to those who are housebound.
For those aged 55 -64, more information will be available in November.
Anyone who is unsure about whether they are eligible for a flu vaccination www.nhsinform.scot or phone 0800 22 44 88 between 8am and 10pm seven days a week.