GP practices in England have delivered more flu vaccinations to patients over 65 years old than they had at the same point last year – with rates higher than 2019 in all eligible groups.
Today’s Public Health England (PHE) flu report, which provides data from 28 September to 4 October, shows flu vaccination uptake has risen by six percentage points in those aged over 65 – from 29.3% in the same week in 2019, to 35.3% in 2020.
Among the same 38.3% of practices in England that reported adult vaccination data, uptake among at-risk adults under the age of 65 rose by 0.5 percentage points, from 4.5% last year to 5% in 2020.
And uptake among pregnant women rose by 3.5 percentage points, from 5.1% in 2019 to 8.6% this year.
Meanwhile, of the 40.3% of practices in England that reported childhood vaccination data, uptake among two and three-year-olds increased sharply – from 0% last year to 14.4% in two year-olds and 15.2% in three year-olds this year.
The PHE report also revealed that GP consultations for influenza-like illness ‘remained low’ across the UK.
PHE unveiled its flu vaccination promotion plans on 22 September and launched its full marketing campaign this week.
GPs are expected to deliver flu vaccinations to 30m patients in England this year after the Government expanded the number of people eligible for the free jab, including to over-50s from November.
Last year the aim was for 25m people to receive the jab in England but according to PHE’s annual flu report, 15.3m patients were vaccinated.
Earlier this week NHS England confirmed patients aged 50-64 years old will only be able to receive the jab ‘if circumstances permit’.
A version of this story first appeared on our sister title Pulse.