TWO local MSPs have been urging people to take advantage of the Scottish Government’s annual national flu vaccination programme – with a focus on people with health conditions and children aged 2-5.

Cowdenbeath MSP, Annabelle Ewing, and her Kinglassie counterpart, Jenny Gilruth, said this week that getting this protection could be really important once winter arrives.

Ms Ewing said: “Every year thousands of children are hospitalised with flu. Even healthy children can become seriously ill from it.

"Protecting children can also stop the virus from spreading to family, friends and others.

“To date more than 1.6 million doses of the nasal vaccine have been given to 2-11 year olds as part of the Scottish childhood immunisations programme.

“There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines on the internet but I am confident that parents in Cowdenbeath will trust the facts and recognise that vaccines not only work, they save lives.

“Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people at most risk of serious illness are offered the flu vaccination on the NHS".

Ms Gilruth added: “Getting your kids vaccinated is free and only takes a few minutes – but it helps to protect against the flu bug for around a year.

“Staff at NHS Fife are doing a tremendous job with a tough time of year ahead and we should all do our bit to not add unnecessary pressure on the health service.

“If you or your children are eligible, make sure that getting the vaccination is a priority and make an appointment with your GP practice or health board as soon as possible.”

The Meadows Practice at Lochgelly Health Centre is holding a flu vaccination session at the Town Hall on Friday October 25 from 9am until noon and 2pm to 4pm, while Benarty Health Centre is holding a flu vacc session the following day, on Saturday October 26, from 9 am to 3pm. No appointment is necessary at either session, just go along.