Morbidly obese people should be given the flu jab, the group that advises the Department of Health on vaccination policy has said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) made its recommendation after examining evidence on obesity linked to morbidity and mortality rates.
Among those currently entitled to a free flu jab are pregnant women, people aged 65 or over and people with conditions such as chronic heart disease.
However, the JCVI has said this should be extended following extra evidence from Public Health England.
Minutes from the JCVI’s October 2014 meetingstate: “Public Health England had provided the committee with a revised summary of the data and relevant papers on morbid obesity and influenza vaccination via correspondence following the June 2014 meeting, and the committee concluded that the additional data allowed them to form clear advice that morbid obesity should be considered a risk factor for seasonal influenza vaccination.”