Anyone with a health condition is at particular risk from flu and eligible for the vaccine. Conditions and diseases which make flu more dangerous include:
• cystic fibrosis
• chronic heart disease
• chronic kidney failure
• multiple sclerosis
• liver problems such as cirrhosis/hepatitis
• asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
• being very overweight
• HIV infection
Anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment should also get the flu vaccine. If you’re under 18 years, have a health condition or care for someone who does, you should also get the vaccine. You may be eligible to have the vaccine as a nasal (nose) spray.
Anyone aged 65 or over is eligible for the flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine is offered to all children in Scotland aged 2–5 years (and not yet in school) at their GP practice (children must be aged 2 years or above on 1 September 2017 to be eligible). It is also offered to all primary school children at school.
Children of all ages with a health condition will still be offered the flu vaccine from 6 months of age.
Children to be Vaccinated by GP Practices
- Children aged under two years of age with “at-risk” conditions. GP practices continue to be responsible for vaccinating “at-risk” children aged six months to less than two years. GP practices should continue to make their usual arrangements for vaccinating those children, including call and recall.
- All children aged two to five years including “at-risk” children in this age group who are not yet at school. GP practices will receive a list of eligible pre-school children from SIRS. GP practices can either mark the SIRS list or return a list of children vaccinated which includes their CHI numbers and addresses to SIRS. A central invitation letter will be issued to parents/carers of all pre-school children aged 2 to 5 years this year inviting them to make an appointment with their GP.
- Secondary school aged children and those who have left school up to age 18 years. GPs continue to be responsible for vaccinating all “at-risk” children who are not receiving vaccine in school this year. GPs should continue to make their usual arrangements for those children, including call and recall.
- A small number of children receiving one dose of inactivated vaccine in primary school will require a second dose (if they have not previously had a flu vaccine) and this should be provided by GPs. These children will be identified by the school health team and advised to contact their GPs and GPs are not required to identify them pro-actively.