Seasonal Flu

You are eligible for the free flu jab if you are:

  • aged 65 and over
  • under 65 with an existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis and other heart, lung and liver diseases
  • pregnant
  • a young carer or an unpaid carer of any age

NHS Lothian also provides the vaccine for staff.

You must get vaccinated each year as the flu viruses can change each year. This also protects against any reduction in immunity year on year. The jab only takes a couple of minutes to get but it will protect you for around a year.

It takes about ten days for you to be protected against the flu after your vaccine. That’s why it is best to get the vaccine as early as possible.

This year’s flu vaccine protects against three types of flu including the swine flu strain, which is still circulating and you could still catch. Although swine flu wasn’t as bad as people feared in 2009, it can still make you very ill especially if you have a long-term medical condition such as heart or lung problem, or if you’re pregnant.

Healthy people who catch the flu are likely to feel very unwell for up to a week but will normally recover. You can help stop the spread of flu by catching a sneeze in a tissue and washing your hands regularly. If you think you have the flu you can seek advice from a pharmacist, from your GP, or through NHS 24.

Visit immunisation Scotland for more information.

Last Reviewed: 14/10/2011