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Kent parents warned against complacency over flu threat

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Kent County Council, Nov 28, 2014. Replies: 0 | Views: 1158

  1. Kent County Council is supporting health partners by urging parents of young children to have the flu vaccine after latest figures showed an alarmingly low uptake.

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    In Kent and Medway, only 15 per cent of children aged two to four who are eligible for the free seasonal vaccine, have had the nasal spray so far this winter. The uptake is down on the same point last year, the first time children were routinely immunised against flu.

    KCC's Interim Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark explains why it is important parents get their children immunised. He said:
    People aged 65 or older, those with long term medical conditions and mums-to-be, are also among the priority groups to get the free vaccine. These groups are showing an increase on the uptake compared to the same period last year but are still considerably below the 75 per cent target for the season. Furthermore, Kent had the lowest figure in the country for uptake among pregnant women last year and was lower than the national average for those with medical conditions and within the over 65s age group.*

    Andrew Scott-Clark added:
    Anyone can pick up the flu virus – even if you are in general good health. Usually, 15 to 20 per cent of the population gets flu each year and it is possible to pass it on to those who are at more risk of serious illness.

    It is impossible to get flu from the having the flu jab or nasal spray. This is because the vaccine doesn't contain any live viruses. A very small number of people experience side effects that are similar to those of the flu, such as aching muscles, but this is simply your immune system responding to what it thinks is an attack from flu. The seasonal flu vaccine is one of the safest vaccines in the world and is given to millions of people in the UK each year.

    Find out more about the the winter flu vaccination or contact your GP.

    KCC News
     

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