Routine Vaccinations

The development of effective vaccines has led to a huge decrease in childhood deaths, and immunisation is a way of protecting against serious diseases. Once we have been immunised, our bodies are better able to fight these diseases if we come into contact with them. Click here for more information about vaccinations on the Immunisation Scotland website.

Influenza vaccination (Flu 2021) (Click here for more information)

The way you will get your flu vaccine this year has changed.


People aged 70 or over will now be sent a letter by the national booking system with details of an appointment at a vaccination centre.


From now on, GP practices will not administer the Flu jab. Across Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships are taking on this role in line with the GP Contract agreed by BMA Scotland on behalf of Scottish GPs. This change has been agreed to relieve pressure on GP practices. As a result your local practice will not offer any flu vaccinations or handle any booking queries for people in eligible groups.


Instead, the flu vaccine will be delivered by the four Health and Social Care Partnerships in Lothian - East Lothian; Midlothian; Edinburgh and West Lothian.


If you require further information or you need to rearrange your appointment, please contact the helpline on your appointment invitation or the local enquiry line on 0300 790 6296.


Please do not contact your GP. 


You can find out more on the websites of the Health and Social Care Partnerships or on NHS Inform

Anyone who suffers from a chronic health condition listed below, who is pregnant, who is over 65, or those who work in healthcare should get the flu vaccine.  If you have a health condition, flu can hit you hardest. The annual vaccine is the safest and most effective way of protecting yourself.  If you fall into the following categories, you should make an appointment for the annual flu vaccine as catching flu can be much more dangerous:

  • asthma
  • bronchitis / emphysema / COPD
  • cystic fibrosis
  • chronic heart disease
  • chronic kidney failure
  • diabetes
  • HIV infection
  • immunocompromise (undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • liver problems (such as cirrhosis/hepatitis)
  • multiple sclerosis
  • pregnancy
  • unpaid carers

Those aged 16 or over, who are not eligible for free immunisation, can get the vaccine in many high street pharmacies for a small fee.

Pneumococcal vaccination (Click here for more information)

The pneumococcal vaccine provides some protection against one of the most causes of meningitis and other conditions such as severe ear infections and pneumonia.

Unlike the flu vaccine which is given every year, the pneumococcal vaccine is only usually given once. The Scottish Government provides pneumococcal immunisation for all people aged 65 years and over. For those aged under 65, GPs may at their own discretion provide immunisation for people with the following serious medical conditions:

  • Problems with the spleen either because the spleen has been removed or does not work properly, e.g. sickle cell disorder and coeliac disease.
  • Chronic lung disease including chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
  • Serious heart conditions.
  • Severe kidney disease.
  • Long-term liver disease.
  • Diabetes requiring medication.
  • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment eg HIV, chemotherapy for cancer, or long-term oral steroids for conditions such as asthma.
  • Cochlear implants.
  • Individuals with cerebrospinal fluid leaks.
  • Children under five years of age who have previously had invasive pneumococcal disease such as meningitis or bacteraemia.

Shingles vaccination (Click here for more information)

Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it. It is caused by the same virus as chickenpox and causes painful blisters on the skin. The shingles vaccine can reduce your risk of getting shingles, or, if you do get shingles, can reduce how serious the symptoms will be.

The NHS will be offering the vaccine to those aged over 70 but under 80 in stages over the next few years. As of 1 September 2018, people aged 70-79 will be offered the vaccine.

People aged 80 and over will not be offered the shingles immunisation because the vaccine is less effective as people get older.

Meningitis vaccination

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord which can damage the nerves, the brain, and lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning). The infection can be caused by several groups of meningococcal bacteria – the most common types are A, B, C, W and Y. Young people have the highest risk of getting meningococcal disease, as well as children and babies.

Meningitis B (Click here for more information)

The Scottish Government has announced that all infants in Scotland will be offered a vaccination against Meningitis B (MenB) through the NHS as part of the routine childhood vaccination programme from the 1st September 2015.  

Meningitis ACWY (Click here for more information)

Please make an appointment with our nurse if you are aged 16-25 attending a UCAS-administered institution or college with residential accommodation for the first time and have not received a Meningitis ACWY vaccine.

Edinburgh University Students and MMR, MenACWY and HPV Vaccinations

The vast majority of university students in Lothian live in Edinburgh and these students are being offered vaccination through the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). There is not a requirement for students to be registered with a GP as long as they live in Edinburgh. Students are asked to phone 0131 537 7205 Monday to Friday 8am-4pm to make an appointment. MenACWY and MMR vaccinations will be carried out at Sighthill Health Centre, 380 Calder Road, Edinburgh, EH11 4AU and Mountcastle Health Centre, 132 Mountcastle Dr S, Edinburgh EH15 3LL. HPV vaccination is also available.

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