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Seasonal Immunisations

Seasonal Flu Vaccination

This year the delivery of the seasonal flu vaccinations is changing.  Because of the challenges of ensuring safe social distancing and the increased volume of those eligible this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the NHS Fife Immunisation Service will be delivering the vaccines from larger, centralised hubs and NOT from GP Practices.  If you are eligible for the vaccine this year you will be sent a letter from Public Health / NHS Scotland.  Please see www.nhsinform.scot/flu for more information.

From Monday the 14th of September, to make a flu vaccination appointment, but only once you have received your letter, telephone: 01383 674111 or email fife.vaccinesinfife@nhs.scot

Influenza Vaccination Eligibility

Vaccination for the different groups will begin as soon as the necessary supply of vaccine becomes available.

Those most at risk will be prioritised.

The following groups are eligible for the flu vaccine in the first phase beginning in October this year:

  • All primary school children
  • Children aged 2 to 5 (children must be aged 2 years or above on 1 September 2020 and not yet in school)
  • Anyone aged 65 and over (by 31 March 2021)
  • Anyone with an eligible health condition
  • Pregnant women
  • Healthcare workers
  • Unpaid and young carers
  • Those living in the same home as people previously shielding from coronavirus
  • Social care workers who provide direct personal care

The second phase is planned to begin in December, and will include those aged 55 to 64 (by 31 March 2021) who would not usually be eligible.

These groups are determined by the Department of Health.  If you’re 16 years old, or over, and not in one of the eligible groups for the free flu immunisation, you can get the vaccine in many community pharmacies for a fee.

Pneumococcal Vaccination

The practice offers Pneumococcal vaccination to patients in High Risk groups and this can be given at any time of the year. The vaccine provides some protection against one of the most common causes of meningitis and also against other conditions such as severe ear infections and pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.

Eligibility:

All patients 65 years of age and over by 31st March, 2021.

Adults and children with “at risk” conditions:

  • Asplenia or splenic dysfunction
  • Chronic respiratory or heart conditions (Asthmatics do not usually require this vaccine)
  • Chronic kidney conditions
  • Chronic liver conditions
  • Chronic neurological conditions (including Strokes, TIAs and Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppression
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Complement Disorders

Most people only need to receive this vaccination once in their lifetime, so if you’ve had it before it’s unlikely you’ll need it again.

Shingles Vaccination

The shingles vaccination is being made available to certain patients –

People between the ages of 70 and 79 on 1 September 2020 are eligible for the free shingles vaccine.

People aged 80 and over won’t get the shingles vaccine because it’s less effective as people get older.

This is a one-off vaccine and does not need to be repeated.

Read more about the Shingles Vaccination Programme.

Potential Side Effects from Vaccinations

Commonly reported side effects include:

  • Pain, swelling, hardness or redness at the site of injection
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscular aches and pains

These are more common after receiving the pneumococcal injection and usually disappear within 2 to 3 days.  A cold compress can be applied to the site of the injection.  Pain relief such as Paracetamol and / or Ibuprofen can be taken at recommended doses.

If you develop fever post vaccination, this should usually resolve within 48 hours.  This is a relatively common, expected reaction, and self-isolation and testing for COVID-19 are not required unless COVID is suspected based on other clinical criteria such as cough and/or loss of taste and/or smell.

If fever persists beyond 48 hours or you develop other COVID-19 related symptoms, then you should self-isolate and it is recommended you have a test for COVID-19.

Rare side effects:

  • Rash
  • Facial swelling
  • Breathing difficulties

These are serious side effects and immediate medical help should be sought by telephoning the surgery or dialing 999 for an Ambulance.