Call for more to get flu jabs

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TAKE-UP of the seasonal flu jab in the area among elderly people has improved on last year, new figures reveal.

But most pregnant women are still not taking up the offer of the free vaccines, say the NHS figures.

From 1st September to 13th November, 67 per cent of people aged 65 or over living in Derbyshire got the seasonal flu jab, compared to 61 per cent at the same time last year.

Experts have repeatedly encouraged those eligible to take up the offer of the free vaccinations in an effort to reduce spread of winter flu viruses, which can prove fatal, particularly among at-risk groups.

Flu can be particularly harmful to the elderly, pregnant women and those with long term illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.

Said Dr Bruce Laurence, acting director of public health for NHS Derbyshire County: “We recognise there is no room for complacency.”

Just over a quarter of pregnant women have taken up the jab this year, up on 17 per cent last year.

Added Dr Laurence: “This is the third year the flu vaccine has been offered to all pregnant women so we’re pleased to be improving on last year’s performance.

“But more mums-to-be do need to be aware of the risks they are putting on themselves and their unborn child if they don’t come forward and have the jab.”

Local GPs are continuing flu jabs until the end of February. Those wishing to get one should contact their GP. Flu information is also available from NHS Direct on 0845 4647.