Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan is urging all eligible adults in the Western Isles to take up the NHS offer of a free flu vaccination.

Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people at most risk of serious illness are offered the flu vaccination.

Flu rates in Scotland doubled in December with the most recent figures from Health Protection Scotland showing around 46 Scots in every 100,000 were suffering from the virus, comparing to 22 in every 100,000 for the same week in 2016.

NHS Western Isles has announced a temporary reduction in visiting hours to Western Isles Hospital because of high levels of respiratory illness.

Alasdair Allan said: “It’s not too late to get the flu jab. I would encourage all constituents who are eligible for vaccination on the NHS to take up that offer.

 “Cases of flu in December were at double the rate for the same time the previous year, and this can be a serious illness that can make even healthy people very unwell. 

“We should be thankful for the tremendous work our NHS staff in the islands are doing at a tough time of year, and we should all do our bit to not add unnecessary pressure on the health service.

“I would encourage everyone who is eligible to make getting the vaccination a priority and book an appointment with their GP practice or the health board as soon as possible.”