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Flu vaccinations have been launched in Scotland and pregnant women are at the top of the priority list for the first time.
The elderly and other at-risk age groups are also being targeted in the annual campaign which has been launched by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon.
This year’s vaccination will protect against H1N1, otherwise known as swine flu, which is expected to be the predominant flu strain. The jab also starves off two other strains of the bug.
For the first time, pregnant women are being targeted as a priority, Chief Medical Officer Dr Harry Burns explained.
He said: “Pregnant women will be offered the vaccine this year. This is because H1N1 is likely to be the main circulating virus this flu season and pregnant women have been noted to be at greater risk of complications of H1N1 influenza infection.”
This year’s campaign also aims to highlight the fact that carers are eligible for the vaccine.
Ms Sturgeon teamed up with a group of unpaid carers at the launch and said: “For those at risk, the complications of seasonal flu can be deadly. The best way to protect yourself is to get the jab.”
Those who are eligible include those aged 65 and over, and those with a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, chronic heart conditions, chronic kidney and liver disease and other serious medical conditions.
Copyright Press Association 2010