Huge drop in flu jab uptake among Nottinghamshire pensioners and toddlers

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New Government figures show a sharp decline in the number of people getting flu jabs in Nottinghamshire this winter compared with last.

Specifically, the figures focus on three of the most vulnerable groups – over-65s, pregnant women and children aged two-three.

The figures reveal 13,000 fewer over-65s have had flu jabs this year compared with last, while more than 3,000 fewer two and three-olds have been vaccinated.

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However, 1,300 more pregnant women have had their jabs this year than last, although the figures still show almost 7,000 eligible have not.

Thousands more Nottinghamshire pensioners and toddlers are missing out on flu jabsThousands more Nottinghamshire pensioners and toddlers are missing out on flu jabs
Thousands more Nottinghamshire pensioners and toddlers are missing out on flu jabs

The figures are concerning for health chiefs, as the number of people in hospitals with flu is at a 10-year high.

Figures show, across Nottinghamshire, the number of over-65s getting flu jabs this year is 5.9 per cent down on last year, while for children aged two-three, it is 14 per cent down.

Across Nottinghamshire in 2022-23, there were 216,701 over-65s registered with GPs, of which 170,273 had their flu jabs, meaning 46,428 were unvaccinated.

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In 2021-22, out of 213,436 over-65s, 180,749 got jabs and 32,687 went unvaccinated.

The figures show only 3,018 out of 9,985 pregnant women getting the jab, meaning 6,967 are unvaccinated. However, this is 1,350 more than 12 months ago when, out of 13,462 pregnant women, 5,108 had their jabs and 8,354 did not.

Of 24,066 toddlers registered with GPs this year, only 8,122 have been vaccinated, leaving 15,944 unvaccinated, compared with 12,766 in 2021-22, when 11,490 of 24,256 children aged two-three were vaccinated.

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Rosa Waddingham, NHS Nottinghamshire chief nurse, said: “Flu is circulating at high levels and we have seen a large number of people admitted to hospital who have been very unwell.

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“We encourage all eligible groups to come forward for their flu vaccinations, including two and three-year-olds, people with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.

Vaccination is safe and the best protection against the virus.

“Flu can be a very unpleasant illness and, in some cases, can lead to serious complications.

“Getting you and your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and it’s still not too late.

"If you have been invited for a flu vaccine, but haven’t had it come and get it now. Book an appointment with your GP or at a pharmacy.”