“Flu can lead to serious complications or even death and I would urge everyone who is eligible to a free flu vaccine on the NHS to go and get vaccinated.”
Seasonal flu (influenza) is a highly infectious illness and it is important for those most at risk to be vaccinated against it. Each year, flu can put a considerable burden on NHS resources, with numerous GP consultations and hospitalisations. The timing, extent and severity of influenza seasons is unpredictable and intermittent epidemics can cause significant illness and mortality. During the 2014/15 influenza season there were 1,652 admissions to hospital due to influenza.
The Government recommends free flu vaccinations in Wales for those aged 65 or over; and for people with certain chronic conditions such as chronic respiratory, heart, liver, neurological and kidney disease; diabetes; weakened immune systems; splenic dysfunction; as well as people living in long-stay facilities such as nursing and residential homes; carers of elderly or disabled people; pregnant women and all children aged 2-3.
Note on the event
Westminster Flu Day is an established event in the Parliamentary calendar. It is sponsored by the ABPI Vaccine Group in partnership. Those of us who are not eligible for a free seasonal flu vaccine on the NHS made a £10 donation to the Carers Trust.
Around 50% of people with a serious medical condition, 32% of people over the age of 65, 63% of preschool children, 56% of healthcare workers and 55% of pregnant women did not have a flu vaccine last year in Wales, despite the fact that the consequences of not having a flu vaccine for these groups of people can be serious.MPs and Peers were invited to attend Westminster Flu Day, a flu vaccine clinic held in the House of Commons, to encourage their constituents to get this season’s flu vaccine in line with Government recommendations.