First H1N1 Flu Jabs Given in Glasgow
Vaccination programmes are important against the spread of viruses

By Neil Stewart
The Scottish Government’s programme of H1N1 vaccinations begins today in Glasgow’s New Victoria Hospital. The first people to receive their jabs are those most at risk of picking up the virus – vulnerable patients, nurses and other medical staff. Nicola Sturgeon, the Health Secretary, will be present for the first vaccinations. Speaking earlier, she said:

“With the world experiencing its first flu pandemic for 40 years, vaccination is the best defence we have against this new flu strain.”

“While most sufferers make a good recovery from the virus, we have sadly seen that it can be deadly.”

“That’s why I urge everyone who is eligible to make sure they get the jab – it’s the best way to protect yourself and others. Over the next few weeks, GP’s will contact those eligible for the vaccine to make an appointment to get their jab.”

“Our health workers have a vital role to play in caring for those struck down by flu. This increases their own risk of H1N1 infection and they may also pass the infection on to vulnerable patients. This is why it is so important that health workers are among the first people to be offered the vaccine.”

“Thanks to the contracts put in place before the pandemic, Scotland is one of the first countries to receive the vaccine supply and we must make the most of our head start.”

It is expected that 1.3 million people in Scotland who are in the priority group for the vaccinations will receive their jabs in the first wave on inoculation. At risk people are those over sixty-five, pregnant women and those in the medical profession. Dr Burns, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, said:

“Our health workers are at the frontline of the battle against flu and that’s why it’s vital they protect themselves and others against H1N1 this winter.”

“Health workers may believe they’d shake off flu if they get it this winter – but we know that, in a small minority, the H1N1 virus can be nasty.”

“Not only are frontline workers more at risk of infection but they could also spread the bug to vulnerable patients. We expect this to be a busy winter, which makes it even more important that staff do all they can to keep well.”

“As I’m not currently working on the health frontline, I’m not in the priority groups to receive the vaccination. But rest assured, if I was, I’d certainly be getting it.”

H1N1 claimed its latest victim in Fife this week. The 59-year-old woman, who had underlying health problems, is the 16th person to die from the virus in Scotland since the outbreak began.