The Scottish Government launched their seasonal influenza immunisation campaign, this year titled Trust the Facts, on 1 October 2019 at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy. The campaign focuses on people with health conditions and children aged from two to five years of age.
Every year, thousands of children are hospitalised for flu and even healthy children can become seriously ill from it. Protecting children can also stop flu spreading to family, friends and others. To date, more than 1.6 million doses of the nasal vaccine have been given to 2-11 year-olds as part of the Scottish Childhood Immunisation Programme, but more parents and carers need to take up the offer for their child to be vaccinated to protect public health.
The campaign is also targeting people with health conditions, such as breathing problems, diabetes and heart or kidney conditions, as those people are 18 times more likely to die from flu than those without a health condition. Every year in Scotland, two-thirds of people who end up in intensive care because of flu have a health condition.
The campaign launch also marked the start of a national advertising campaign to raise awareness of the importance of the vaccination. Developed by NHS Health Scotland, TV and radio adverts will encourage people to contact their GP practice now and get the vaccine. Online adverts will invite people to watch and share short animations.
Public Health England (PHE) has also launched its annual flu vaccination campaign, for the first time offering all primary school children the nasal spray vaccine.
Further information can be found on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and NHS Health Scotland websites.
Sources: NHS Health Scotland, 1 October 2019 and PHE, 4 October 2019