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Vulnerable East Anglian patients urged to take up free flu vaccination

16:42 06 October 2014

Eligible patients are being urged to take up their free flu vaccination this winter.

Eligible patients are being urged to take up their free flu vaccination this winter.

Vulnerable patients are being urged to take up their free flu vaccination this winter after it emerged that less than half of East Anglians had the jab last year.

A new campaign was launched today by Public Health England to encourage people in at-risk groups to get themselves protected against influenza.

Last year, 52pc of eligible people between six months and 65 years got themselves vaccinated. However, in Norfolk, only 49.1pc had the jab in 2013/14 and 48.2pc in Suffolk and 50pc in Cambridgeshire.

People with a health condition, pregnant women, and parents of children aged two to four are being urged to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the serious effects of flu.

Public health officials said last year’s flu season was less severe than previous years. However, they said people with flu are 11 times more likely to die if they have an underlying health condition.

Gina Radford, centre director for Public Health England in Anglia and Essex, said flu was an unpredictable virus and it is impossible to predict the impact of the disease and how many serious cases there might be.

“Flu is a really unpleasant illness, particularly for our most vulnerable patients and it is essential that people take steps to protect themselves during the winter months. I would urge those who are offered the free flu vaccination to visit their GP as soon as they can and take up the offer of this simple but effective vaccination,” she said.

Last year, around 40pc of pregnant women had the vaccination, which is also available for people with a health condition, particularly chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

Children up to the age of four are also being offered a nasal spray vaccination this year.

A regular coach service was diverted at the weekend after extra cars at an annual flu jab clinic made the road dangerous for coaches to pass.

The Sanders 55 service via Westbourne Road and Rectory Road in Coltishall changed route to the village’s main road on Saturday due to extra cars parking on either side of the narrow road.

Martin Wise from Sanders Coaches said: “We quite often encounter problems along this road and at the flu clinic at the doctors’ surgery people park on both sides of the road.

“We tell drivers not to mount the pavement but with the trees there it is a recipe for disaster.”

The service has now returned to its usual route.

3 comments

  • BG - We are away on Holiday as we did'nt want to take our child out of school for a family holiday so we booked and arranged something in July for the October half-term - So that is not an option. Funny enough i myself had my own flu jab done on saturday but they said the Nasal spray for kids is a only done on set days!!!

    Report this comment

    dpc

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

  • dpc - half term is only a couple of weeks away!

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, October 6, 2014

  • The childs nasal spray is a great idea BUT whats the point when your GP surgery will only offer you an appointment during school times and there answer is well you will have to take him out of school!!!

    Report this comment

    dpc

    Monday, October 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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