If you are at risk of seasonal flu, please get vaccinated this winter

October 28, 2014 11:46 AM

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter attended Westminster Flu Day last week. This took the form of a special a flu vaccination clinic held in the House of Commons, to encourage their constituents to get this season's flu vaccine in line with Government recommendations. National Flu Day

Around 31% of at-risk people and 19% of people over the age of 65 were not vaccinated against flu last year in Stockport, even though they were eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS. This compares to 47.7% nationally of at-risk patients and 26.8% of people over the age of 65.

Seasonal flu (influenza) is a highly infectious illness and it is important for those most at risk to be vaccinated against it. The consequences of influenza can be fatal and there were estimated to be 11,000 deaths from flu in the UK in the 2012/13 flu season. It is estimated that in excess of 6 million working days are lost in the UK due to seasonal influenza every year. Flu can put a considerable burden on NHS resources, with numerous GP consultations and hospitalisations. In England and Wales, influenza accounts for over 400,000 general practitioner consultations annually. In England, elderly respiratory hospital admissions during epidemics of influenza cost the UK health service over £22 million every winter.

Mark Hunter said:

"The consequences of having flu for certain groups of people, such as people with a medical condition, pregnant women, children and people over the age of 65 can be serious. I would therefore urge everyone who is entitled to a free flu vaccine on the NHS to go and get vaccinated."

Parliamentarians who would not be eligible for a free seasonal flu vaccine on the NHS made a £10 donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee. £10 is equivalent to the cost of a private vaccination.

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