PLANS are in place for East Renfrewshire’s biggest ever flu vaccination programme. 

Four community vaccination clinics opened yesterday, amid concerns that a flu outbreak could combine with a surge in coronavirus cases to cause a ‘perfect storm’ that would put health services under severe pressure.

The clinics are based at the Barrhead Health and Care Centre, Glen Community Hall, in Neilston, The Avenue shopping centre, in Newton Mearns, and Eastwood Health and Care Centre.

Teams from the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) are planning to administer the free flu jab to more than 18,000 people at these four locations in the coming weeks.

For the first time, people aged between 55 and 64 are eligible, along with those who have certain health conditions, are pregnant or work in healthcare.

The vaccine will also be offered to children aged from six months to two years with a health condition that puts them at risk of flu, as well as all pre-school children aged from two to five and all pupils at local primary schools.

The clinics will be run on an appointment-only basis, with strict social distancing and infection control procedures in place.

Letters are being sent to those who are eligible and, over the next two months, those aged 65 and over, as well as those most at risk, will be prioritised.

GPs will continue to deliver the vaccination to those most at risk, with letters being sent out from practices in the coming weeks.

Residents are asked not to contact their GP or the HSCP unless they have received a letter asking them to do so. Those who receive an appointment are asked to stick to the date and time given, as rescheduling could lead to delays for others.

Primary schools will host vaccination of their pupils.

Dr Deirdre McCormick, chief nurse at East Renfrewshire HSCP, said: “Last year, thousands of people in Scotland ended up in hospital because of flu. That’s why having your flu vaccine is so important if you are eligible.

“Flu is very infectious and the vaccine is the best available protection. It’s very safe, does not give you flu, only takes a few minutes and will last around a year.

“The community clinics mean we can treat more people, support GPs to focus on those most in need and offer a safe place for our residents to get vaccinated.”

More information about the vaccine and eligibility can be found at