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Drop in pregnant women having flu jab

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Fewer pregnant women are being vaccinated against flu in comparison to last year, data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) suggests.

Vaccination rates are one third lower, with 26.4% of pregnant women in England having the jab in the week ending January 29 this year, in comparison to 37.5% at the same time in 2011.

The figures were published as the Royal College of GPs’ Dr Maureen Baker said Britain could still see an outbreak of flu over the next month or so.

Some 73.9% of the over-65s had had their flu vaccine by the end of January, which was a small increase on the 72.6% who had the jab in 2011.

Among those under-65s who are in groups considered ‘at-risk’ - including those with asthma, chest problems, liver disease, diabetes and neurological conditions - there was a small increase in the number who had the jab.

In 2011, 49.8% had the jab, while this year, 51.4% had the vaccination.

Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, said she hoped 75% of over-65s would be vaccinated this year, with 60% of ‘at-risk’ under 65s, including mums-to-be, being vaccinated too.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I am currently 16 weeks pregnant and neither the midwife or my GP (who I have had to see all too frequently due to severe morning sickness and chest infection) have even mentioned the flu jab. I am lucky in that I routinely have it through work but talking to friends and forum members about this the majority of them have not had this discussed and one person who did menation it herself to her GP at my urging was told that it was nearly spring and there was no point in having it now.
    We need to educate pregnant women to have this jab but to do this we need to educate the health care professionals

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