Seasonal flu

The CMO letters in respect of the 2020/21 Seasonal Flu Vaccination Programme has been published by Scottish Government.

Given the impact of Covid-19 on the most vulnerable in society, it is imperative that we do all that we can to reduce the risk of our vulnerable population from contracting seasonal flu. It is therefore essential that we actively encourage and support the population to receive the seasonal flu immunisation this winter. Delivery of the seasonal flu programme will protect those at risk, prevent ill health and minimise further impact on the health and social care sector

Please note There are changes in influenza vaccines that JCVI has advised for use in the different patient groups in 2020/21. There has also been an extension of the seasonal flu vaccination programme in Scotland to additional population groups.

COVID-19 Pandemic: For infection prevention and control measures please refer to current Public Health Scotland guidance  

To help support the seasonal flu programme a number of educational resources have been developed.

Practitioners should be aware that due to vaccine supply, the vaccines available for eligible groups may vary. Please refer to local and national guidance.

NOTE:  These educational resources continue to be updated as required to support this programme but do not replace the clinical judgement of practitioners.Practitioners should be aware that due to vaccine supply, the vaccines available for eligible groups may vary. Please refer to local and national guidance.

Resources for Registered Healthcare Practitioners
Resources for Healthcare Support Workers
Information for Health and Social Care staff
Administration of Fluenz Tetra Intranasal Influenza Vaccine video


September 2020 advice from Scottish Government

Fever following flu vaccination

Vaccinated individuals, parents and carers should be advised that flu vaccines may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is a common, expected reaction and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected.

Feeling generally unwell, shivery, achy and tired are also commonly reported symptoms following flu vaccination. These symptoms usually disappear within one to two days without treatment, but paracetamol can be given if necessary to relieve any of these symptoms.

As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if individuals, parents or carers are concerned about their, or their child’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.

In addition to this PHE guidance approved via the UK-wide flu vaccination board, advice for use in Scotland has been agreed by the COVID-19 Clinical Cell in Scotland and the UK Senior Clinicians Group:

If someone develops fever post vaccination, this would normally be within the first 48 hours following vaccination AND usually resolved within 48 hours . This is a relatively common, expected reaction, and self-isolation and testing for COVID-19 are not required unless COVID is suspected based on other clinical criteria such as cough and/or anosmia.

 If fever starts beyond 48 hours post vaccination OR persists beyond 48 hours or an individual develops other COVID-19 related symptoms, then they should self-isolate and be recommended to have a test for COVID-19. Testing for COVID-19 may also be considered at any time following clinical assessment, or if there are other epidemiological indications such as being a close contact of a case or part of a cluster.”