Flu jab uptake is on the increase

GPs have increased uptake of the influenza vaccination and are set to achieve the WHO 2010 target of 75 per cent coverage.

A total of 74.1 per cent of patients over the age of 65 received a flu jab as part of the 2008/9 vaccination programme, according to DoH figures.

This is an improvement on the 73.5 per cent uptake level achieved in 2007/8.

Uptake in at-risk patients, such as those with chronic kidney disease or diabetes, also rose from 45.3 per cent in 2007/8 to 47.1 per cent in 2008/9.

However, in a letter sent out to all GPs in England this month, CMO Sir Liam Donaldson warned that uptake in at-risk groups 'is still disappointingly low considering the benefit that the vaccine offers'.

Sir Liam added that the clinical risk groups will remain the same in 2009/10, and called for further increases in vaccine uptake in these groups.

The letter also encourages GPs to protect themselves and their patients by having the influenza vaccine.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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