Vast numbers of vulnerable at risk groups are still not being…

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Flu jab latest figures have shown the number of people being vaccinated in Devon this winter has dropped among the elderly and at risk, but has increased for children and expectant mothers .

Today Public Health England has released new figures which show some encouraging signs compared with the previous winter, but vast numbers of vulnerable at risk groups are still not being vaccinated.

Within the Northern, Eastern, Westerns Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG) area, priority at-risk groups eligible for the free vaccine include those aged over 65, those under 65 but who have a long-term condition, pregnant women and children aged from two to five years old.

Among those aged 65 and above, 66.8 per cent have been vaccinated which is just less than one per cent less than the same time last year.

For those aged six months to under 65 at risk the uptake up was 42.2 per cent around three per cent less than the previous year.

For pregnant women, the rate bucked the other figures and increased by almost three per cent to 42.2 per cent.

In the category for two to five-year-olds, the biggest increase was seen with 38.9 per cent receiving vaccinations – an increase of four per cent.

Across the South West the figures show more than 229,000 older people across the South West have not been vaccinated; nearly 200,000 people have not protected themselves aged below 65 who have a long-term condition which puts them at particular risk from flu; more than 16,000 pregnant women have not been vaccinated, and means parents of 66,000 children have still not taken steps to protect their child.

Nigel Acheson, regional medical director of NHS England south, said: “The uptake of the jab so far is encouraging with some improvements on last year, but there are many who would benefit who are still not protecting themselves by being vaccinated.

“It is not too late to get the vaccine and it remains the best way for those who are at the highest risk to protect themselves from the severe effects of the flu virus.”

Free flu vaccinations are still available free for vulnerable through GPs or local high street pharmacists.

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