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Young must have flu jab

28th September 2007

The government’s chief medical officer has warned that more than a million people in England put their health at risk every year by not taking up the offer of a flu jab.


Figures show that 58% of the at-risk under 65s, which include those with asthma and diabetes, did not receive the vaccine last year.

The warning came from Professor Liam Donaldson as he launched the winter flu campaign. He urged all people who are eligible for the jab to get vaccinated.

Around two million people under 65 fall into a high-risk category making them eligible for a flu vaccine, though younger people often believe they are not at risk.

Professor Donaldson said: “It is a common misperception that it’s only older people who suffer the most when they get flu.?

People over 65 automatically qualify for the free vaccination along with other high risk groups that include people with serious heart or respiratory conditions, kidney, or liver disease, diabetes, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment, multiple sclerosis, or conditions of the nervous system, and those who have had a stroke. Those who work in the poultry industry are also recommended to receive the vaccination.

The Department of Health says flu contributes to over 25,000 excess winter deaths every year and thousands of people are hospitalised due to serious complications, though in recent years the campaign has been beset by problems such as shortages and delays of flu vaccine.

However, the Department said there are no reported problems with supplies this year.


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Article Information

Title: Young must have flu jab
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 4250
Date Added: 28th Sep 2007


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