58,521 pensioners in Edinburgh and West Lothian to miss out on improved flu jab that is available in England
More than 58,000 pensioners in Edinburgh and West Lothian will not get an improved flu jab, that is available in England, thanks to a delay by the Scottish Government.
Last October, health experts recommended that over 65s should be given a new upgraded flu jab which boosts the immune system as well as protecting against flu, called Fluad. Whilst it costs more, the UK-wide Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation concluded it saves money in the long run by reducing hospital admissions.
In England, all over 65s will be eligible for the jab. However, health bosses north of the border did not order Fluad until March this year, meaning there are only enough supplies to offer it to the over 75s in Scotland.
For Edinburgh and West Lothian this means that an estimated 58,521 people between the age of 65 and 74, will not be getting a flu jab which would be available to them if they lived in England.
Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP, said:
“The SNP Scottish Government failed to be ready for increased winter pressures last year and this year seems like a repeat performance.
“People aged between 65 and 74 in Edinburgh and West Lothian will be concerned that they are not receiving the recommended improved flu jab, despite it being available to the same age group in England.
“This lack of planning by SNP Ministers means that over 58,000 in Edinburgh and West Lothian will not be as well protected from the flu this winter as they would have been.”