Focus shifts to flu as vaccination queues begin to form

This year those over 55 and frontline social care workers will also be offered the flu vaccination.

Play icon

As the battle against Covid continues in to flu season, there is a growing worry of what might happen when the two viruses combine.

This year anyone over 55 along with frontline social care workers will be offered the flu vaccination in the bid to protect more people during the pandemic.

In Dundee, health workers are some of the first to get the flu jab. 

Peter Stonebridge, the medical director at NHS Tayside, said: “Obviously flu in itself is not very nice and actually has a significant detrimental affect on people and the second is obviously if you get flu and covid at the same time that might not go particularly well. 

“It is very important that we stop as much of the flu aspects that we possibly can while we await a covid vaccine.”

Covid has been the focus for most of the NHS for months with another rise in Cases in recent weeks bringing fears it could be accelerated further if more people aren’t protected.

The Scottish Government insist there will be enough flu vaccine to last the season, but GP’s say that some will have to wait.

“We’re getting the most vulnerable done first, so for example we’ll be setting off to do our patients in care homes very shortly, but you are someone who is 55 and in good health and would not normally get the flu jab but this year we are recommending that you do, you will wait a little bit longer,” said Dr Alasdair Forbes of the Royal College of GPs Scotland.

But a shortage globally might mean those paying privately may miss out – Boots has already suspended its online bookings.

Experts here will no doubt be looking at what has been happening during flu seasons in other parts of the world. 

In Australia where flu hits between around April and October there have been just over 21,000 lab confirmed cases so far this year – by this time in 2019 it was just under 290,000 cases

In other southern hemisphere countries like South Africa there have also be reports of far fewer cases.

That is because social distancing and lockdowns have been in place making it hard for all viruses, not just Covid to spread.