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Have your flu jab before the year's out; HEALTH TARGET: Nearly half the over-65s in city still need vaccinating.

Byline: By Kerry Beadling

OLDER people are being urged to get their flu jabs in time to protect themselves this winter.

So far, only 55percent of over-65s in Coventry have had their vaccinations - but Coventry Teaching PCT has to get at least 70 per cent of that group vaccinated by the end of the calendar year.

Last year, it achieved 71 per cent.

The jabs are available to all over-65s, anyone with a serious health condition, carers of the elderly and disabled, front-line healthcare workers and other at-risk groups.

Health bosses think the main reason for the low uptake this year is down to a national delay in distributing the vaccines early in the campaign, which led to a widespread shortage.

Peter Hodder, director of primary care for the PCT, said: "At the start of the flu vaccination campaign we experienced problems with the supply chain which meant that not all practices in the city were getting their vaccines in at the speed and quantity we have seen in previous years.

"Now, however, most vaccine supplies are through, so patients shouldn't delay in making an appointment with their GP surgery for their vaccination.

"Since the vaccination is the only protection against the flu, those who have not already arranged to have their jab for whatever reason are really encouraged to do so."

People eligible for the vaccination include those with a serious heart or chest complaint, including asthma, kidney disease sufferers, people with a lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment, and parents of at-risk children.

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PROTECTION... Flu injections are recommended for older people.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 15, 2006
Words:273
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