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Don’t forget those flu jabs!


It's that time of year again, ignored by many, dreaded by some but a lifesaver for others.

Influenza - the flu - is frequently the largest cause for absence from work through the winter months, and there is now an annual drive to encourage susceptible people to have the immunisation. Some employers provide the injection for staff at their own cost recognising that the savings in absence costs far outweigh the bill for immunising staff.

The Department of Health yesterday launched the national immunisation campaign, with Minister for Public Health, Yvette Cooper, being supported by pensioner Sir Henry Cooper to receive his injection.

The government is targetting all people over the age of 65, a reduction from previous years when the age has been 75.

Also targetted are people with greater medical susceptibility to the flu. The government's own guidelines suggest that the following people are immunised:

  • all aged 65 and over
  • those of all ages with:

    • chronic heart disease
    • chronic respiratory disease (including asthma)
    • chronic renal disease
    • diabetes mellitus
    • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
    • living in long-stay residential and nursing homes or other long-stay care facilities

The Department of Health has produced two information leaflets on flu for members of the public. Copies of 'Flu Vaccination' and 'What should I do about flu?' are available from:

PO Box 777
London SE1 6XH

A leaflet is also available on-line


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