Health chiefs call for flu jab push

Doctor writing on clipboard

Doctor writing on clipboard - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

‘At-risk’ people are being urged to vaccinate against flu after it was revealed that just 38 per cent of those aged under-65 who are entitled to the free jab have had it.

The figure represents a marked decrease in numbers after 46 per cent of eligible people had received the jab at the same point last year and health experts are urging more people to have get vaccinated to avoid the virus spreading in the community.

As well as being free for everyone aged over-65, anyone with a medical condition which makes them more susceptible to the disease can also visit their GP for a jab at no cost, while a new scheme also allows people to receive the jab from local pharmacies.

Dr Mary Backhouse, chief clinical officer at North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Flu is an unpredictable and serious disease and it’s particularly dangerous for older people and those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, the effects can be serious and in some cases fatal.

“That’s why the jab is free to at-risk groups who are more susceptible to the effects of flu.

“By getting the jab individuals not only protect themselves but can also help to make sure that flu doesn’t spread among friends, families and their local community, making more people unwell and putting greater pressure on local NHS services.”