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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-32681
Asked by: Anas Sarwar, Glasgow, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 20 October 2020

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide local authorities with any additional resources required to ensure that all teachers requesting a flu vaccination for 2020-21 are able to receive this.

Current status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 19 November 2020


Answer

The Seasonal Flu Immunisation Programme helps to protect the most vulnerable and alleviate pressure on the NHS. This will be more important than ever this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those most at risk from the seasonal flu, who are already eligible to receive the vaccine are:

  • Those aged 65 and over,
  • Those who have an underlying health condition,
  • Pregnant women,
  • Health care workers,
  • Young and unpaid carers,
  • Children aged 2-5 (not yet at school), and
  • Primary school pupils.

This year the Scottish Government is expanding free eligibility for the seasonal flu vaccine to:

  • Social care workers who provide direct personal care,
  • Household members of individuals who are shielding,
  • Those aged 55 and over and
  • 50-54 if vaccine supplies allow.

With the expansion some occupations, such as health and social care workers are entitled to the free seasonal flu vaccine, this is because they come into contact with a higher proportion of people who are vulnerable to the seasonal flu. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, there is pressure on the global supply of seasonal flu vaccine, the vaccination of those considered ‘high-risk’ must continue to be prioritised. Teachers will be able access flu vaccine if they fall into one of the categories above. In addition Local Authorities may offer Seasonal Flu vaccinations as part of occupational health arrangements.