Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Carson raises concerns over flu jab 'postcode lottery'

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has raised concerns with SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman over a lack of access to a flu vaccination programme this winter.

Reports in The Times highlighted that NHS Dumfries and Galloway were one of three health boards in Scotland unable to access Fluad, a vaccine which has been developed to boost the immune system, for the over 65’s.

They have been allocated Flucelvax Quad C, which offers protection against four flu strains but does not have the immune booster of Fluad.

Mr Carson has criticised the ‘postcode lottery’ which appears to be in place for the vaccine, meaning thousands of his rural constituents could miss out.

He has called on the Health Secretary to personally intervene to ensure that NHS Dumfries and Galloway can deliver this vital winter programme.

Commenting, Finlay Carson MSP said: “Flu vaccines are absolutely vital and it is hugely concerning that NHS Dumfries and Galloway appear to have been the victim of a ‘postcode lottery’ for this years winter programme.

“Fluad has been proven to be effective in many more cases than other vaccines for our elderly population, who are at greater risk of succumbing to an infection.

“I have now written to the SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman asking her to personally intervene in this issue, to ensure this programme can be fully rolled-out across Dumfries and Galloway.

“Our elderly population in particular should not lose out and I hope this situation can be resolved urgently so that everyone eligible can receive this vaccine.”