Vaccine effectiveness data highlights need to get flu jab to protect over 65s

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Statistics released by Public Health England for the 2016/17 flu season show that the flu vaccine was 39.8 per cent effective against flu in people of all ages.

The vaccine was most effective in children at a rate of 65.8 per cent and reduced the risk of flu in the age group 18-64 by 40.6 per cent among those who received the vaccine. The vaccine did not show significant protection among those over 65s, highlighting the importance of vaccination in other age groups to help prevent risk to the elderly.

These provisional end of season statistics show how important it is that health and social care workers receive the flu vaccine in order to reduce exposure to elderly patients they come into contact with, as well as to protect themselves and those around them.

Public Health England test the vaccine effectiveness every year against the two most common strands of flu.

Jenny Harries, deputy medical director for Public Health England, said:

"For the vast majority of us flu passes reasonably quickly, but for some, it can be extremely serious and even fatal. Vaccines are the best defence we have against flu and not only protect people who have received the vaccine but also those around them."

Read the full report on Public Health England's website.

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