The West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) winter flu vaccination and Covid booster programme for 2021 is getting underway.
In West Lothian this year, if you are eligible for a flu jab, you will receive a letter. The letter will either give you an appointment, or instruct you to make an appointment using an online portal.
Over 50s, pregnant people, unpaid carers and those at risk due to existing health conditions will be offered a flu jab. You may also qualify for a flu jab because of the job that you do.
To check if you are eligible for a flu vaccine, or for more information, go to: www.nhsinform.scot/flu
Information is also available on the West Lothian HSCP website – https://westlothianhscp.org.uk/fluhub
In a change to the previous flu vaccination programme, the vaccine will be delivered by the West Lothian HSCP at local clinics, and not at GP surgeries. Residents are being reminded not to contact their GP direct as they will not be able to help.
Eligible residents will be offered a vaccination at a local clinic or in their own home if the individual is housebound.
Some local community pharmacies are also trying to assist. Please contact your local pharmacy to ask if they are accepting bookings.
You may also be eligible for a COVID-19 booster jab this winter. If you are, you may be given both you flu and COVID jabs at the same appointment. However, this will not always be possible, and you may have to attend two separate appointments. To find out more about the COVID boosters, visit NHS Inform.
Alison White, Joint Director of West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said:
“The West Lothian HSCP will be delivering all flu vaccinations to eligible people in West Lothian this year.
“Your GP practice will not be offering any flu vaccinations or handling bookings this year. We’d ask residents not to contact their GP.
“The process of getting your vaccination, however, will be very similar. You’ll still get a letter, but now it will come from NHS Scotland, inviting you to attend one of our local flu clinics or inviting you to book an appointment.
“It is very important to note that not everyone invited to receive a flu vaccine will be offered an appointment at the clinic closest to their own home due to limited capacity. We’d urge people to make every effort to attend the appointment that they are given, and we’d be grateful if friends and family could assist in helping others get to their appointments. The WL HSCP has no control over the national allocation system for appointments which is operated and controlled by NHS National Services Scotland (NSS).
“If you need help to book an appointment, or further information, please contact the help line on your appointment invitation. Alternatively you can call the local Lothian helpline free on 0300 790 6296 for assistance with re-booking. Please do not contact your GP as they will not be able to help.
“If you receive a letter inviting you to attend a flu clinic but you are housebound, please phone the Lothian phone helpline free on 0300 790 6296 for assistance. They will pass your information to us and we will contact you to arrange an appointment. You will be visited in your own home to be given the flu vaccination as in previous years.
“Flu is serious and it is really important to keep yourself and others protected, so please take up the offer of the vaccine if you get a letter. It’s quick, safe and easy. Our teams look forward to seeing many of you at one of our local West Lothian clinics.”
For more information about the winter flu vaccination programme and to see if you’re in a eligible group, please visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine