Questions about the supplies of the new advanced flu vaccine have been raised, after it emerged that more than 23,000 people in Scotland died during the cold weather last winter — the highest toll since 1999/2000. The number of winter deaths in Scotland between December 2017 and March 2018 reached an 18-year high, according to new stats released by National Records of Scotland.

Commenting, Professor Bell said:

"Last winter was one of the harshest for some time. We know that an excess of deaths were reported last winter compared to the seasonal average, in part related to influenza and other respiratory infections. As such we continue to encourage all at risk patient groups – and indeed health and care staff - to have their annual flu vaccination. It is also vital to have effective winter planning for all acute and emergency services.”

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658