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Newham tops list of London boroughs for flu vaccinations

12:13 24 March 2014

More than 66 per cent of eligible residents received the flu jab this winter-making the borough the top across London to take up the vaccine.

More Newham residents with long term conditions - such as diabetes, heart or respiratory disease - and other high risk factors that might make them more vulnerable to flu have received a free NHS flu jab than in any other part of London. The borough had an uptake of 66.8 pc, compared to a London average of 52 pc.

The success of the immunisation programme has resulted in a drop in the number of patients who needed to see a GP because of flu-like illnesses in December 2013 and January 2014.

This fell by around five people in every 100,000, compared to an average London increase of around six people in every 100,000.

Dr Zuhair Zarifa, a local GP and chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks, but for some people it can be really serious – causing complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and in some cases even death. That’s why it’s so important that people at risk of developing flu are protected against the virus.”

Councillor Clive Furness, executive member for health and adult commissioning, said: “It’s important that all our residents especially our most vulnerable are protected from flu. The work with our partners has resulted in fewer people seeing their GP for flu like symptoms and we’ll continue to work with them to boost uptake next year.”

Newham also ranked top in London for the number of pregnant women who received the jab, with an uptake of 56 pc. This was significantly higher than the London average uptake of 35.9 pc.

Newham was one of only two boroughs in London to exceed national targets set by the Department of Health to give more than 75 pc of people over 65-years-old a free flu jab.

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