Number of pensioners taking free flu jab falling

 

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Many potential flu victims have not been vaccinated despite winter approaching, according to new figures.

The number of over 65 year olds who have been vaccinated has fallen since last year, as has the the number of younger "at risk" patients.

As of last week, only 48.9% of over 65s had been given the jab, compared with 54.8% in the same period of 2011.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "As winter approaches, we should all be on our guard against health problems."

The Department of Health (DoH) says around 4,700 people die every year in England, after getting flu.

People in at-risk groups - such as pregnant women - are 11 times more likely to die than someone who is not in an at-risk group.

Start Quote

Our campaign aims to encourage people who are most at risk from flu, who have put it off or who don't think it is important, to get the vaccine”

End Quote Anna Soubry Public Health Minister

The DoH has therefore launched a campaign to encourage at-risk groups to get vaccinated and a new website, called Winterwatch, will be launched later this month to provide winter-related health data.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said: "We have taken the decision this year to run a flu campaign because too many people in at-risk groups have not come forward for the jab yet, although local campaigns have been running for the past month.

'£42m cost'

"Our campaign aims to encourage people who are most at risk from flu, who have put it off or who don't think it is important, to get the vaccine."

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Each year the cold weather is responsible for an increase in deaths and thousands of cases of flu, falls, heart attacks and strokes.

"In past years, these extra pressures have cost the NHS £42m in emergency admissions alone.

"As winter approaches, we should all be on our guard against health problems - by taking simple steps and looking after our older friends and family we can keep warm and well."

Flu is generally just means taking time off work for most people but certain at-risk groups are prone to developing potentially fatal complications, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

One upward trend is in the number of pregnant women receiving the flu jab this year - around 25%, compared to 13.6% by this week in 2011.

Louise Silverton, director for midwifery for the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Women must also be aware of the importance of having the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as they become pregnant.

"If any pregnant woman is unsure about this, I would urge them to speak to their midwife or doctor to discuss the issue.

"For women after their 28th week of pregnancy, they should ask for the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination when they visit the GP."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 408.

    401.Cincilla
    I eat 3 eggs a day and have had one cold in 18 months.
    -
    And Linus Pauling, 2 Nobel prizes, promoted huge vitamin C consumption as preventative medicine to human ails, even though scientifically proven that any intake in excess of natural requirement is excreted. His wife then died of cancer.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 407.

    404.Joseph_F
    "...what are they hiding in those needles?..."

    ===

    One does wonder.

    In Africa etc. in the 1980s it was AIDs.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 406.

    313.karen dark
    Why the desperation to vaccinate everyone? What is government so keen to get shoved into our bloodstreams? In past decades, people caught flu and got over it, without all these vaccinations; they weren't available.
    -
    Viruses mutate. Science advances. I'm human.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 405.

    they say 4700 die every year, I hate statistics. How many had the jab, how many were so fragile they were dying, How many take a bad reaction. And how often do they make the wrong choice of strain??
    Any ideas?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 404.

    The government seems too eager with regard to this, it's the same here in the US, what are they hiding in those needles?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 403.

    402. David
    2 MINUTES AGO
    399. paulmerhaba

    Nice travel plans but it becomes hard after 3 minutes.

    ---
    Stop bragging it takes me about 3 days!!!!!!!! lol

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 402.

    399. paulmerhaba

    Nice travel plans but it becomes hard after 3 minutes.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 401.

    Cholesterol and saturated fat being harmful are additional myths conveniently promoted by big pharma. Both make the immune system stronger. Medium chain fatty acids are essential for eliminating viruses and bacteria from the body. I eat 3 eggs a day and have had one cold in 18 months.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 400.

    @Karen 313

    Jeremy Hunt gave an answer: "these extra pressures have cost the NHS £42m"

    That and the 4,700 who people who die as a result of flu.

    If you're imagining there was a golden age when people had stronger immune systems and flu wasn't fatal - it never existed. More people died of flu in the aftermath of the first world war than were killed in the war. If only there had been a vaccine.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 399.

    I am going to go to work in an egg, it has vaccines as well as nutritional value, except if you have too many it will give you high cholesterol, so i will share my ride to work with others.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 398.

    378.Jim fixed it for me

    "...I consider myself lucky. I have hardly had a single day off sick for 20 years. But then again I have drunk 10 pints of cider every night for the last 20 years..."

    ===

    I'd be surprised if you were able to tell, frankly...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 397.

    84.Count Otto Black

    "...I thought I'd had 'flu a couple of times in my life but I hadn't. When I had the genuine thing 2 years ago, all those other things I called 'flu paled in comparison..."

    ===

    You may well have. We all have differing degrees of immunity, some inherited, to the range of strains of 'flu.

    Some can be relatively harmless to us, but others kill us.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 396.

    Cont/
    Even so, I'll still be having the jab every year, I don't ever want the real flu again. Twenty years on, and I still remember how ill I felt!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 395.

    393. margaret howard
    Old people are notoriously forgetful and unless reminded they did not go.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think they are a shed load smarter than their pretentious peers in most cases, just can no longer be arsed chasing the carrot.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 394.

    391 threeswans

    It's hardly a revalation. The NHS flu info ite says pretty much the same thing, noting that most flu vaccines protect at about a 75% immunity level. Add to that natural immunities built up over the years and it's not bad ... certainly worth doing if your more vulnerable to flu.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 393.

    There is a simple reason why the number of old people are not having flu jabs this year has fallen and that is because they were not notified by their clinics.

    In past years we were sent letters asking us to make an appointment but none arrived this year because the trust who run the clinics are cutting costs.

    Old people are notoriously forgetful and unless reminded they did not go.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 392.

    390. paulmerhaba

    Do not change you're sense of humour its what makes most things tolerable.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 391.

    yet another example of how the health authorities are in thrall to the pharmaceutical industry - flu jabs are a waste of time and money as they only target a tiny proportion of the viruses in existence at any one time- but I don't suppose anyone will believe this

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 390.

    389. David
    Physics has laws we cannot change, humans again prefer their own version ?

    Physics laws are human laws!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 389.

    384. John Campbell

    I do not know much at all about Martin Luther King or politics but I do know people see what they like & stick with it regardless of truth or morality from others point of view.

    Different peoples can have opposite views on life & both are correct, we seem not to accept this in general.

    Physics has laws we cannot change, humans again prefer their own version ?

 

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