A PLEA has been issued for Scots to get a flu jab this winter after studies confirmed a dual threat with coronavirus.

Interim Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nicola Steedman, speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, urged all those who are eligible to get the vaccine.

She raised fears about the potential combination of flu and coronavirus as winter approaches.

“We've always worried that the combination of both flu and Covid together would be an even more serious one for us all,” she said. “We now know that in that respect our concerns are justified.”

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Steedman referenced two studies – one led by Liverpool University’s Professor Callum Semple and another from Public Health England – which show the potential dangers of contracting both viruses.

The former found patients who get flu and coronavirus together have more than twice the length of hospital stay, than those who just have Covid-19 and not flu.

Public Health England, meanwhile, looked at the clinical data for of almost 20,000 people from January to April of this year who were tested for both flu and Covid. In those people with dual infection, the odds of dying were more than twice as high than those who had Covid alone, and almost six times as high as those who had neither flu, nor coronavirus

“Taking those two large studies together, you probably don't need me to tell you that getting flu and Covid together is likely to be extremely serious,” Steedman warned.

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She urged all Scots who can to make use of free flu vaccinations.

“Please, if you or any of your loved ones are eligible, take up the offer of a flu vaccination this year,” she said.

“And I'm speaking to everyone who is eligible, but especially perhaps those of you who haven't bothered in the past, including some of my fellow health care workers, I know. Now you have even more reasons to do this to protect yourself to protect your loved ones, your patients or those that you care for and to guard against combined really serious effects of flu and Covid infection.”