Huge boost in flu vaccine uptake amid Covid-19 pandemic

The programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 will start early next week

Flu vaccine uptake has seen a huge boost in Suffolk amid coronavirus fears - Credit: Getty Images/Istockphoto

Suffolk has seen a huge increase in uptake of the flu vaccine, with more people taking the jab amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A rise in those receiving the vaccine has been seen across the board in the county as GPs, pharmacists and Public Health Suffolk pushed for patients to receive the important jab. 

In West Suffolk, there was a rise of 18% in those 65 and over getting the flu jab up until the end of November. 

Meanwhile, in Ipswich and East Suffolk, there was a rise of 12% in the same category, with 82.3% of those 65 and above registered at a GP having the vaccine.

The national target for influenza vaccine uptake is 75%.  

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The jab is seen as more important than ever this year, with the coronavirus pandemic putting NHS services under more pressure.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Public Health Suffolk and NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “It’s incredibly good news that we’re seeing an increase in flu vaccination uptake this year.

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“Never has there been a more important time to have your flu vaccination.

"This will help safeguard your own health and to reduce the number of hospital admissions while the NHS continues to deal with the serious impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Health and care colleagues including GPs, pharmacies and Suffolk County Council Public Health have worked together to raise awareness of the importance of the vaccination, and community pharmacies are supporting their GP colleagues to continue flu vaccinations as they begin the Covid-19 vaccination roll out.

“If your GP practice invites you to have a flu vaccination, please take up the offer. You can also find the pharmacy nearest to you offering flu vaccination here."

In Ipswich and East Suffolk, every practice for whom November data is available posted an increase in uptake and all bar one practice has already met the 75% target for this cohort.

The CCG said it is an "excellent performance from local practices".

Those in Hadleigh saw the highest uptake of the vaccine, with 89.4% of all people 65 and above registered at the local GP surgery receiving the jab. 

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