GPs score record flu uptake
GPs have achieved record flu vaccine uptake for October in this year's campaign as practices demonstrated what they are capable of in the absence of delivery delays.
Figures for the first month of this year's campaign show 54.7% of over 65s were vaccinated, up from 34.2% last year and 48.9% in 2005/6 – the campaign with the highest overall uptake to date.
The impressive performance casts doubts on the Government's desire to reform the way GPs order flu vaccines, indicating the blame for previous uptake problems lay firmly with delays in manufacture and distribution.
Uptake in at-risk individuals has nearly doubled since last year's delay-hit campaign, stands at 28.5%, compared with 14.5% in 2006/7 and 25.0% in 2005/6.
The figures reflect the efforts of GPs to restore the momentum of the seasonal flu vaccination campaign after the problems of recent years.
Dr George Kassianos, RCGP immunisation spokesman, said: ‘The flu vaccine uptake for October is higher than the previous two years because of the hard work of the primary care teams.
‘Practices are well organised, vaccines are available to them, call systems are in place and many practices have carried out mass open-door immunisation sessions.'
Data from the RCGP's Birmingham Research Unit also showed the number of GP consultations for flu and flu-like illnesses rose last year from 10.2 per 100,000 of the population in 2005/6 to 13.1 in 2006/7.Flu jab