Burnley folk urged not to miss flu jab

The Burnley MP has urged people to get a flu jab
The Burnley MP has urged people to get a flu jab

Burnley MP and Shadow Minster for Community Health has urged those in Burnley and Padiham who are at risk of getting flu to get their free vaccine jab before winter sets in.

Figures revealed that 164,551 missed out on protection last year across Lancashire.

Flu vaccination rates continue to climb across the country, but remain lower than ideal in many areas.

Mrs Cooper’s call comes as the Chief Medical Officer warned last week that flu and complications associated with it cause 8,000 deaths on average a year in England - around 6,000 of which are people with existing heart and lung conditions.

And official figures show that just under 2.9m bed days were lost to flu and pneumonia last year in English hospitals, up almost 280,000 from the previous year – an 11% increase.

Mrs Cooper said: “Getting the flu can be bad enough for even the fittest of us, but for older people and those with long-term conditions in particular it can cause serious health problems.

“Getting the flu jab is free and easy, and offers the best chance of avoiding the flu that we have. I’d therefore urge all those eligible – including all care home staff for the first time - to speak to your GP or local pharmacist and get your vaccination booked in before the cold weather sets in.”

This year, more people than ever - around 21 million - will be offered the vaccination. Children in school Year 4 will be offered the vaccine for the first time and children over age four in reception year can get their vaccine in school.

More information on eligibility for the flu jab, and other tips on staying well this winter, can be found at www.nhs.uk/staywell