NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Get ready for winter with free flu and COVID vaccines

ANYONE aged 50 and above is now being urged to get online to book their flu and COVID jags.

The national booking website is now open for people in Dumfries and Galloway to book in and start receiving their jags from 24 October 2022.

Getting vaccinated will help to provide them with the highest possible levels of protection this winter. To book these jags all over 50s should visit the website at https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp

Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “Just like we get our flu jag every year because protection fades and the virus changes, the same is true with COVID.

“You may have already had COVID and thought ‘that wasn’t too bad’, but that’s far from any guarantee that it will be the same next time – especially if it’s a different variant and you haven’t prepared your body’s defences with a jag.

“It’s therefore really important that everyone eligible gets their flu and COVID jags this winter, to help protect themselves, loved ones, and help take some strain away from the region’s key public services.”

Vaccinations have already been taking place in care homes, among front line health and social care staff, and among those with specific conditions and those aged 65 and above.

However, no appointment times are being sent out to people in the 50 to 64 age group.

Instead, everyone in this group has to visit the site https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp to book their appointment, and the only letters coming out will be to remind them to act if they haven’t already.

People who have any difficulty using the online booking system can call the Dumfries and Galloway vaccine helpline at 01387 403090, or the national vaccine helpline at 0800 030 8013.

Valerie White said: “We have made tremendous progress in the last two years in the fight against COVID-19 but this virus can still have serious consequences, so we need to keep our protection up as this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

“We know now that vaccines are very effective in protecting you against serious illness from COVID-19, but that protection fades over time. Most people in the region will not have had a COVID jag for several months – maybe not since last year. Getting a booster will strengthen your defences against COVID-19 and give you the best chance of staying healthy this winter.

“It’s just as important to get a winter flu vaccination, if you are entitled to one. Each year the flu virus changes, and the winter flu vaccine has to be updated to keep pace – so you need to get the latest version for the best protection.

“Both COVID-19 and flu can be serious illnesses. Getting vaccinated against them helps protect you and your family, and reduces the pressure on the NHS this winter.”