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NHS Western Isles will be holding COVID booster and flu vaccination drop-in clinics this weekend. 

The clinics will be held on Lewis and Barra and, as they are drop-in, no appointment is needed to attend. 

Anyone aged 70 or over is invited to attend at any time during the clinics for their COVID booster and/or flu vaccination. 

The clinics in Stornoway will be held tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (October 23 and 24) in the Vaccination Centre at Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway from 9am – 4pm.  

The clinic in Barra will be held on Sunday (October 24) in the Barra Learning Centre from 9am – 4pm. 

Drop-in opportunities in Uist will be arranged for next week. 

NHS Western Isles is encouraging everyone eligible (currently those aged 70 and over) to have their flu and COVID booster vaccinations to protect themselves from both viruses this winter. 

With increasing levels of social mixing and close social contact, it is expected that during winter 2021 to 2022, COVID-19 will co-circulate alongside other respiratory viruses, including seasonal flu. 

In addition to the risk of severe illness to those most vulnerable, the flu and COVID-19 viruses have the potential to add substantially to the winter pressures usuallyfaced by the NHS, particularly if infection waves from both viruses coincide.  

The flu vaccine is the safest and most effective way to help protect against flu. It will also help reduce the risk of spreading flu to others. 

In terms of the COVID booster, it is recommended that eligible individuals take the offer of the COVID booster, to provide longer term protection from serious illness from COVID-19. Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to reduce over time. The COVID-19 booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first two doses. 

The booster dose can be offered any time at least 6 months (24 weeks) after your second dose and will help reduce the risk of you needing to go to hospital due to COVID-19 this winter. 

The flu and COVID booster vaccines can be given at the same time, one in each arm, or individuals can choose to have them at different times.