GP flu jab uptake soars as primary care prepares for tough winter

The proportion of GPs and other primary care healthcare workers receiving the flu vaccine has climbed 18% this year as the NHS gears up for a tough winter.

Flu vaccination (Photo: iStock)

Over 438,000 healthcare workers in primary care received the vaccine this September and October, a fifth more than the 372,000 who received the jab in the same period in 2016, according to provisional data released by Public Health England (PHE).

The rise means some 46% of total healthcare workers received the vaccine, six percentage points up from 40% the year before.

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Vaccination rate

But this still falls short of levels that experts have recommended. RCGP national immunisation lead Dr George Kassianos told GPonline earlier this month that all healthcare and social care ‘must be vaccinated against influenza’.

He said that high vaccination rates were GPs' best line of defence against a nasty flu season.

The data was released alongside figures for the childhood vaccination programme, which shows that 18% each of children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 received the vaccine in September and October.

Some 17% of those in Year 3 received the vaccine and 16% of those in Year 4.

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