Sandy Watson, NHS Tayside.
Sandy Watson, NHS Tayside.

NHS Tayside chairman Sandy Watson has led by example by taking up the offer of a free seasonal flu vaccination.

The vaccine is available free of charge from GP practices for people in at-risk groups such as pregnant women, those aged 65 years and over and unpaid carers.

All NHS Tayside staff and volunteers are also being encouraged to take up the offer of a flu jab at staff clinics and participating community pharmacies across Tayside to protect themselves and vulnerable patients who may be more likely to suffer complications from flu.

Dr Daniel Chandler, NHS Tayside Consultant in Public Health, said: “Flu can be a serious illness. It makes people feel very unwell for several days and full recovery normally takes a week.

“Even fit and healthy people can develop more serious consequences and can require hospitalisation.

“For those in the at-risk groups, the complications of seasonal flu can be deadly.

“The best way to be protected is to get the jab and the earlier the better as this will stop flu from spreading to others who might be at risk.”

Mr Watson, who received his flu vaccination at Ninewells Hospital, added: “As someone in an at-risk group, and as a member of NHS Tayside staff, I personally know how important it is to get vaccinated against the flu.

“Healthcare staff can unintentionally pass the flu virus on to patients, and if the patients are ill, elderly or suffering from a chronic condition, this can lead to serious illness.

“I would urge all NHS Tayside staff and volunteers to take up the offer of a free flu jab, which is the most effective way to protect themselves and patients from seasonal flu.”

Drop-in clinics are being held at the Academy Medical Centre in Forfar this Saturday, October 25 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Lour Road Practice’s session will be held between 9 a.m. and noon while that at Ravenswood Surgery will run from 8.30 a.m. until noon.

Further information can be found at www.immunisationscotland.org.uk