I attended flu vaccine clinic in the House of Commons this week to encourage Newport East constituents to get this season’s flu vaccine in line with Government recommendations.
Parliamentarians who would not be eligible for a free seasonal flu vaccine on the NHS made a £10 donation to the Carers Trust. £10 is equivalent to the cost of a private vaccination.
53% of at-risk people and 33% of people over the age of 65 in Wales were not vaccinated against flu last year, even though the consequences of not having a flu vaccine can be serious.
People in a risk group, such as pregnant women, people who are immunosuppressed and people with an underlying health condition such as liver disease and heart disease, are at significantly increased risk of dying as a result of flu. Flu is the most frequent cause of death in pregnancy and very occasionally a child may die from flu.
In Wales we have a significantly higher flu jab uptake among pregnant women and toddlers compared to England, but there is still room for improvement, particularly among over 65s who are such an at-risk group.
The best way to help protect yourself against the flu is to get the flu vaccine. I would urge everyone who is entitled to a free flu vaccine to go and visit their GP or pharmacist.
Westminster Flu Day is an established event in the Parliamentary calendar. It is sponsored by the ABPI Vaccine Group in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing and Carers Trust.