Flu vaccine sees highest uptake on record

Flu vaccine

Over 80% of those aged 65+ in England have received the flu vaccine so far this year – the highest uptake on record

Despite the challenges of rolling out the largest NHS flu immunisation programme during the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS staff have vaccinated a record 80.3% of those aged 65 years and over in England so far. This is the highest uptake ever achieved for this group, exceeding the World Health Organization uptake ambition of 75%.

Uptake in 2 and 3-year old children is also the highest ever recorded, at 54.0% and 56.5% respectively.

It is estimated that over 2,521,000 children were vaccinated through the school-aged programme between 1st September and 30th November 2020 – which is 480,000 more children than last season – and data shows that uptake was between 2.9 and 5.9% higher for all year groups.

By the end of November 2020, more than 120,000 additional healthcare workers had also been vaccinated.

Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill said:

“It is fantastic to see that despite the unique challenges of this winter, more over 65s than ever before have had their flu vaccination and that there is such high uptake across the eligible groups.

“Every year health and care staff do an incredible job rolling out the flu vaccine,  and this year the COVID-19 vaccine too, to protect us all.”

Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu at PHE, said:

“The flu vaccine saves lives. It is therefore very encouraging to see record-high uptake rates this season, especially among the groups most vulnerable to flu, who are also most at-risk from COVID-19.

“There is still time to get vaccinated against flu and we urge anyone who is eligible to take up the offer to help protect yourself, your family and the NHS.”


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