CLYDEBANK residents eligible to receive the flu vaccine are being urged to make immunisation a priority.

Last winter, the number of flu cases in Scotland more than doubled, and on average 1,918 people are hospitalised with flu or its complications every year.

Health chiefs said the vaccine offers the “best protection against the flu virus”.

Those eligible include people with asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, heart and lung diseases, or autoimmune disorders.

People aged 65 and over, pregnant women and children aged two to 11 will also be offered the vaccination, as well as NHS Scotland workers and unpaid carers to help stop the spread of the virus to the vulnerable.

Children aged five to 11 will be vaccinated at school during the autumn term and others will receive the vaccine at their GP practice.

Jeane Freeman, health secretary, said: “This year we want to ensure as many people as possible are protected from flu ahead of winter hitting.

“The vaccine is safe, effective and remains the best protection against the flu virus. It is important to stress the flu vaccine offered to those aged 65-74 this winter still provides protection.

“Last winter was a particularly bad year for flu.

“Flu can be extremely serious for those who are vulnerable and is very infectious. We can best protect the people of Scotland by encouraging everyone eligible to get vaccinated early.”