PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson is reminding all those at risk of seasonal flu to get their flu jabs this winter.
MPs and Peers were invited to attend Westminster Flu Day, a flu vaccine clinic held in the House of Commons, to encourage their constituents to get this season’s flu vaccine in line with Government recommendations.
Last year, 76.3% of people over 65 years and 53.3%1 in the at-risk groups were vaccinated against flu in East Lancashire, compared with the national averages of 74% for the over 65s and 51.6% for those “at risk”.
And Mr Stephenson said: “I would encourage all those that are over the age of 65 or are in one of the ‘at risk’ groups to visit their surgeries and get vaccinated.”
Dr George Kassianos, a GP and Fellow and Immunisation Lead of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Despite the relatively mild flu season last year, people should remember that flu remains a serious threat, particularly for those aged over 65 and those of any age with medical conditions that put them at increased risk from influenza infection and its complications.
“Flu can be a pretty nasty and debilitating illness and I would encourage everyone at risk to get their annual flu jab.”
The NHS has a very successful seasonal flu programme. The uptake rate for flu vaccines in those aged 65 and over reached 74% in 2011/12, which is just below the World Health Organisation target of 75%.
The Department of Health, however, wants to improve the uptake rates for those people under 65 years of age with clinical conditions which put them more at risk from the effects of flu.