Adults over the age of 65 are offered the flu jab for free, as the condition is much more dangerous for older people due to their weaker immune systems.
This year’s annual flu report from Public Health England (PHE) revealed the new adjuvanted influenza vaccination – which was provided to anyone over the age of 65 – was particularly effective in preventing many from contracting the flu virus, giving 60 per cent protection against flu strains that were around during the winter.
The report also found the influenza jab reduced the number of people who were eligible for free immunisation developing flu by 44 per cent. This included pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition, and children and adults with weakened immune systems, as well as 65 year olds and older.
Dr Richard Pebody, head of flu at PHE, said the adjuvanted vaccine was offered to older adults for the first time in England this year.
“[It] provided encouraging protection against the main circulating strains this winter. The flu vaccine programme demonstrates the value of vaccination throughout the life course,” he went on to say.
Public health minister Seema Kennedy said most people over the age of 65 received their flu jab this winter, which helped to limit flu activity throughout the country.
She noted the findings show the success of vaccines, and encouraged Brits to take advantage of the immunisations available in the UK.
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