Residents in Ayrshire are being urged to take up the offer of a vaccination when it comes up this winter.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is continuing to encourage those eligible to take up the offer of their flu and Covid-19 vaccines as soon as possible to ensure they’re protected ahead of the festive season.

This year’s winter vaccination programme is focused on protecting those most vulnerable to flu and Covid-19. 

According to PHS, last festive season, hospital admissions for flu peaked on Christmas Day and for Covid on New Year’s Day.

Latest vaccination uptake figures show that many of those eligible are yet to take up the offer of their vaccines, and are encouraged to check local arrangements and find the nearest drop-in vaccination centre or book online.

You can check if you’re eligible for the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, book an appointment or check out drop-in clinics at www.nhsinform/scot/wintervaccines

Professor Gregor Smith, Scotland's chief medical officer, said: “The festive period is a time that many look forward to spending with family and friends, rather than being ill or in hospital.

"Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself against winter viruses such as flu and Covid-19.

“Both flu and Covid-19 can be serious. The flu virus is always changing and protection from the Covid-19 vaccine fades over time, so it’s important that those eligible keep their protection levels topped up by getting their vaccines now. 

"You can check whether a drop-in clinic is running nearby or book an appointment online by visiting NHS Inform. 

"If you're not online you can also call the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.

“Taking up all vaccinations offered throughout life is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children.”