REVEALED: The shocking number of elderly people, young children, and pregnant women in Bury who didn't get a flu jab last year
Posted on 2/11/2017 by
JAB: People are being urged to get vaccinated against flu
MORE than 25,000 Bury residents missed out on their free flu vaccine jab last year, despite being at the highest risk of contracting flu.
New figures from NHS England and Public Health England show that over 62 per cent of elderly people, young children, and pregnant women did not get their vaccination.
According to the statistics, almost 9,000 of Bury’s over-65s in at-risk groups did not get their flu jab last year, along with more than 11,000 other elderly people.
A total of 1,029 pregnant women, and 87 pregnant women with long-term health conditions, also did not get the vaccination.
More than 4,000 children aged between 2 and 4 did not get the flu vaccine, including 120 children who were classed as at-risk.
James Frith, MP for Bury North, said: “These figures show that far too many people who are at higher risk of getting the flu are not taking advantage of their free flu jab.
“I strongly encourage everyone in Bury, Tottingtonand Ramsbottom who is eligible to visit their doctor and get it as soon as possible.”
This year, more people than ever — around 21 million — will be offered the vaccination. Children in school year four will be offered the vaccine for the first time and children over age four in reception year can get their vaccine in school.
A £10 million programme will also see a free vaccination offered to all care home workers via their GP or pharmacist.
These programmes mark the start of the Public Health England and NHS England’s joint Stay Well This Winter campaign, which helps the most vulnerable people prepare for winter and avoid having to visit hospital due to common winter illnesses.
NHS England’s National Medical Director for Acute Care, Professor Keith Willett, said: “Hospitals and GPs are preparing intensively for this winter, and we would remind people of the importance of having a flu vaccination.
“There are 21 million people eligible this year, but last year eight million people missed out and that is something we can all definitely change.”
The Chief Medical Officer warned last week that flu and complications associated with it cause 8,000 deaths on average a year in England.
More information on eligibility for the flu jab, and other tips on staying well this winter, can be found at nhs.uk/staywell.
n Meanwhile, a team of health professionals is leading by example as they encourage vulnerable residents to protect against flu.
Healthcare staff from Bury have been hailed as FLUperheroes for having their vaccines ahead of winter. Hundreds of champions from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust have followed suit in order to protect those most at risk.
More than 1,578 community and mental health staff have had their vaccine to help protect those they come into contact with on a daily basis.
For young children, older people and those with a long-term condition or weakened immune system, infections and complications caused by flu could be fatal.
Free flu vaccinations are available for ‘at risk’ residents, including over 65s and pregnant women, from their GP. Evidence shows up to one quarter of healthcare professionals may also become infected, so it is hoped the vaccine will protect patients against virus.