Flu vaccine adult

People have forgotten how nasty flu can be and should be “gently” reminded it can be a killer, a Cheshire East councillor has said.

Wybunbury Ward Cllr Janet Clowes, speaking the day before the national vaccination campaign was launched, told the Cheshire East’s health and wellbeing board: “With Covid, I think people have also forgotten not just what a nasty disease flu is but how high the mortality rates can be if we don’t have proper vaccination programmes.

“Whilst I don’t believe in scare tactics for public health messaging, I think there is something to be said for somehow gently reminding people that you can die of flu as well.

“It’s not all about Covid now, it’s about both.”

The board heard from Dr Andrew Turner that cases of flu and other respiratory diseases were much lower last year than in previous years as a result of changes in behaviour because of Covid.

“We’re anticipating and preparing for higher rates this winter,” he said.

“There’s a chance people’s own personal perception of risk is diminished because rates have been so low for the past two years.

“I think people quickly forget how horrible these diseases are when they don’t come in contact with them.

“Also we’ve had two, almost three, years of the pandemic now and there’s a risk that people get fatigued by public health messages, so we’ll be working on that with our NHS colleagues as well.”

Cheshire East has arranged to provide for bookable vaccination clinics for its staff on council premises.

Dr Turner said 698 staff took advantage of the free flu offer last year – that didn’t include those that had their jabs via the NHS.

Regarding the general population, he said: “There’s a good uptake in Cheshire East compared to our neighbours.

“In over 65s and in children we have the highest uptake – 87% in over 65s.

“As ever there was a variation among groups, so in pregnant women for example less than 50%, so there is always, and will always be, work to do to make sure that certain groups are targeted and we get as many vaccinated as we can.

“I think sometimes people just forget how horrible an illness flu is.”

Helen Charlesworth-May, the council’s executive director of adults, health, and integration, raised concerns about the low uptake of the jab among adults at risk, including those with learning disabilities.

She asked what was planned to increase that this year.

Dr Turner said the programme would be led by the NHS with the council’s help.

The committee agreed a number of recommendations, including to continue to offer free flu vaccinations for all Cheshire East Council staff and to engage the community voluntary sector, and others to establish vaccination routes for under served communities who may not be registered with a GP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.