Three-quarters (75%) of those aged 65 and over in England received the free vaccine so far this year – up from 72.4% at the end of the last flu season.
From 1st December, 50 to 64 years olds will also be eligible for a free vaccine.
Uptake is also the highest it has ever been in 2 and 3-year-olds, at 47.6% and 49.4%, data published by Public Health England shows.
Flu vaccine uptake is higher in all groups except pregnant women compared to this time last year. Provisional data suggests uptake rates are:
- 75.0% in 65+ year olds.
- 41.2% in under 65 years in a clinical risk group.
- 32.2% in pregnant women.
- 47.6% in 2-year-olds.
- 49.4% in 3-year-olds.
- 19.8% in school-age children.
- 51.6% in healthcare workers.
As part of this year’s expanded NHS flu vaccination programme, children in Year 7 have been offered the vaccine for the first time this year. Uptake in this year is higher than all other school groups, with more than a quarter (158,748) of Year 7 children vaccinated by the end of October.
Uptake in healthcare workers is also ahead of this time last year. By the end of October, more than half (51.6%) of healthcare workers had already been vaccinated – over 100,000 more compared to the same period last year.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu at Public Health England, said:
“We have had an incredible start to the flu vaccination programme, with record uptake in 2 to 3-year-olds and rates in over 65s – the highest since the 2005 to 2006 season. With over 30 million doses available this season, more people than ever are being offered a free flu vaccine.
“There is still time to get vaccinated against flu before it starts circulating in the community. We are urging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer. By getting the jab, you can help protect yourself, your family and the NHS – it will help save lives.”
This circular is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.