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Roger Gale MP encourages constituents in North Thanet at risk of flu to be vaccinated this winter

MPs and Peers from all parties were today offered flu vaccinations, in line with Government recommendations, in a bid to encourage their constituents to be vaccinated against flu for this 2008/09 season. 
Roger Gale MP, member for North Thanet, said that last year 69.7% % of people over 65 years were vaccinated but only 38.8%[1] in at risk groups were vaccinated against flu in East Kent. 

“People over the age of 65 and those in at-risk groups should visit their GP surgeries for a free flu vaccination.  Flu vaccination plays an important role in protecting those people who are more susceptible to serious complications from the condition,” said Roger Gale MP.

Dr George Kassianos, a GP and member of the Royal College of GPs, said that “Flu is a pretty nasty infection to get, but it can be a serious illness for people aged over 65 and those deemed to be ‘at risk’ so I would encourage these groups to get their jabs.” Complications from flu can be severe, with as many as 3,000 - 4,000 deaths in the UK each year attributable to flu[2]
The Department of Health provides free flu vaccinations for at risk groups, which include those aged 65 or over; people with chronic respiratory disease (including asthma), heart, renal or liver disease; diabetes; low immune systems; as well as people living in long-stay facilities such as nursing and residential homes, and carers of elderly or disabled people[3].
The initiative is sponsored by the UK Vaccine Industry Group (UVIG) and [has received the support of the Department of Health] as a means of highlighting the importance of flu vaccination.

[1] Department of Health, Health Protection Agency flu uptake rates for 2007/08 season.  Accessed at
[2] Salisbury DM. Immunisation Against Infectious Disease. HMSO 2006, chapter 19 – Influenza
[3] CMO Letter: The Influenza Immunisation Programme 2008/09


Roger being vaccinated

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