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To: Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government
Protect older people from flu - immunise before the winter
Please set up emergency immunisation clinics so that vulnerable older people get the flu vaccine before the winter
Why is this important?
The Scottish Government says it wants to:
"protect those most at risk from flu in the coming season and to ensure that the impact of potential co-circulation of flu and Covid-19 is kept to an absolute minimum."
(Letter from the Chief Medical Officer Directorate dated 7 August 2020)
What's actually happening on the ground?
The computer programme being used in Greater Glasgow and Clyde sends out appointment letters to over 65s, starting with the youngest age groups and leaving the oldest and most frail people to the last. It was designed for child immunisations, not older people.
Many over 65s with underlying health conditions have not yet had appointment letters. They may be having difficulty finding anyone to help them. GPs are only allowed to deal with under 65s (who get a different type of vaccine).
This means that most of our older relatives and friends are facing the start of winter without being protected from the flu, and at risk from successive waves of Covid 19 at the same time.
We must demand urgent action so that our most vulnerable and frail older people are protected from the flu before the winter arrives