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The Covid-19 booster programme is now underway in Forth Valley.
Residents in care homes for older people were the first to be offered the Covid-19 booster vaccinations from yesterday (Thursday).
They are being offered both flu and Covid-19 booster vaccines at the same time after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that these vaccines could be given alongside one another.
Frontline health and social care staff are able to book an appointment for a Covid-19 booster jab online via a national booking portal on NHS Inform for vaccination clinics starting on Monday, September 27. Where possible, staff will be offered their flu vaccine and Covid-19 booster vaccine at the same time.
Adults aged 70 years and over and those 16 years and over who are on the highest risk list (previously known as the shielding list) will begin to be contacted by letter from the end of September 2021.
Other eligible groups, including all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, adult carers, unpaid and young carers, adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals and all adults over 50 - will be able to book an appointment for a Covid-19 booster online from October 2021.
Meanwhile, children and young people aged 12-15 years old can attend a number of local drop-in clinics this week for a Covid-19 vaccination if they wish to get their jab before they receive their letter inviting them for a scheduled appointment. Everyone in this age group will be invited for vaccination at a community-based clinic from Monday. Parents or carers are welcome to attend appointments with their children and both can ask questions if they have any queries before the vaccination is given.
Fiona Coan of NHS Forth Valley’s Immunisation Team, said: “The Covid-19 booster programme will run alongside our biggest ever flu vaccine programme and wherever possible, those eligible will be offered Covid-19 booster and flu vaccines together.
“The flu vaccination programme for adults will be delivered across Scotland from Monday until mid-December 2021 (a separate programme to vaccine two-five-year-olds, primary and secondary school pupils across Forth Valley is already underway).
Appointment letters will be issued on a phased basis over the next few months so not everyone will receive their appointment at the same time and those in the highest risk groups will receive their letters first.
Additional drop-in clinics are taking place this week for children aged two to five years old who were unable to attend their original appointment.
This year, all eligible groups will be able to arrange a flu vaccine at 55 local pharmacies across Forth Valley and 10 GP practices in more rural areas will also be offering the flu vaccine to registered patients.
Details of local pharmacies and GP practices can be found on the flu page of the NHS Forth Valley website www.nhsforthvalley.com/flu.
Young people aged 12-15 will be able to attend the following drop-in Covid vaccination clinics on Saturday and Sunday from 8.30am-7pm at: University of Stirling, Pathfoot Building FK9 4LA; Falkirk Community Hospital – Units 1 and 2 – FK1 5QE; and Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre – (next to RVS café) – FK10 3BJ.
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Drop-in flu vaccination clinics for children aged two-five years old are running until Sunday at Stirling University (8.30am-7pm), Falkirk Community Hospital (8.30am-7pm) and Clackmannanshire Community Health Care Centre (12.30-7pm).
This year a much wider group of people are eligible for the flu vaccine including people aged over 50, secondary school pupils and education staff. The full list of eligible groups can be found on NHS Inform https://www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine/the-vaccines/the-flu-vaccin e.
Children aged 12-15 who have specific underlying conditions or disabilities are already covered by previous JCVI advice and will be offered two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart.