Frontline healthcare staff are being urged to promote the flu vaccine despite questions regarding its effectiveness.
Public Health England (PHE) claim that those entitled to should still “get the vaccine for free” despite having released figures showing that 74 flu outbreaks occurred in the UK over the past week.
There were also 107 cases where flu sufferers were admitted to hospital as a result of their symptoms.
PHE believes that the flu vaccine is still likely to provide some protection, particularly to those who are considered “high risk”.
Dr Richard Pebody, head of seasonal flu surveillance at PHE, said: “Prevention of the virus is an even better intervention, and it’s not too late for people in ‘at risk’ groups to get the vaccine for free as they are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, and sadly many end up in hospital.
“This includes people with health conditions, even those that are well managed, such as asthma, diabetes, heart, lung, liver or renal diseases, those with weakened immune systems, as well as older people and pregnant women. Anyone in these groups who hasn’t yet had the vaccine should contact their GP.”