Fears Over Low Take Up of Flu Jab
Thursday brought the revelation that only 2 out of 5 individuals from groups most at risk have taken up the option of having the flu vaccination.
Despite the effort – and expense – that has gone into making the public aware of the dangers of foregoing the jab many have skipped it this year and are leaving NHS bosses worried about coping with what could possibly be the widest flu outbreak in years.
The vaccination has been made available to 21 million people – the highest number on record – and £237 million has been spent to spread awareness in an effort to avoid an epidemic. However, since the beginning of the cold snap last week, some hospitals have already shown signs that they are struggling and the situation will only intensify as the cold weather continues.
- Only 44% of those under the age of 65 with a relevant underlying medical condition have turned up for their vaccination.
- Only 43% of pregnant women have had their vaccination.
NHS staff vaccination figures have also been under the spotlight with concerns that not enough of them have taken their own medicine.
- Only 46% of frontline healthcare workers received a flu jab between 1 September and 31 October.
- This is the equivalent of 437,720 across England.
- While still worryingly low this does actually represent a 5.6% increase on the same period last year.
- Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has shown the most improvement.
- It boosted its number of vaccinated staff from just 4.4% in 2016/17 to 50.3% so far for 2017/18.
- An increase of 45.9%