Scots over age of 50 to be offered winter vaccines from Monday

Those aged between 50 and 64 are being encouraged to get the jab to protect against Covid-19 and flu.

Winter vaccine programme extended as Scottish Government seek to ease pressure on the NHS hxyume via iStock

More than two million Scots will be able to book their winter coronavirus and flu vaccines from Monday, as a drive gets under way to ease pressure on the NHS.

People between the ages of 50 and 64 will be able to book an appointment at a time suitable to them through the NHS Inform website, where they can also be rescheduled.

A national helpline has also been made available to allow those without internet access the ability to book an appointment.

To date, more than 870,000 people have already come forward for their Covid-19 and flu vaccines, including healthcare staff, care home residents, over 65’s and those at high risk – with over 1.7 million vaccines being administered.

Last week, health secretary Humza Yousaf warned another wave of Covid-19 is expected to hit Scotland over the winter months.

It comes as the latest figures show there has been a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 infections in Scotland, with around one in 35 estimated to have had the virus in the week up to October 10.

Equivalent to about 144,400 people, the statistics show show a rise from one in 50 people in the week up to September 29 – the most recent previous statistic.

But despite the increase in Scotland, ONS deputy director of the survey, Sarah Crofts, said the trend of infections was still “uncertain”.

Public health minister Maree Todd has urged Scots to book an appointment if they are eligible in a bid to protect themselves and loved ones.

She said: “Uptake continues to be encouraging showing the people of Scotland are keen to protect not just themselves, but their loved ones and the NHS. People who are vaccinated are less likely to become seriously unwell from Covid-19 or flu.”

Of people who have been vaccinated so far, 93.9% of people have received both flu and Covid-19 jabs at the same appointment.

Todd added: “We are working hard to ensure Scotland maintains its reputation as a leading nation for vaccine uptake – continuing the huge success of the vaccination programme since it was first rolled out in December 2020.

“The flu virus is always changing and Covid-19 protection can fade over time so I would ask everyone eligible to take up the offer of their winter vaccines so we can all stay safe over the winter months.”

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