GPs to hit flu target
GPs look set to meet the Government's 70 per cent uptake target for flu vaccination among over-65s, official figures suggest.
But data available to the Health Protection Agency suggesting that few at-risk children have been immunised has led the HPA, the RCGP and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to issue a joint statement to health professionals encouraging urgent immunisation of children aged six months and over in at-risk categories (see box).
Uptake at the beginning of December for over-65s stood at 68.1 per cent up from 66.4 per cent at the same time in 2002 when the final uptake was 69 per cent.
Children aged six months and over in these risk categories should be offered immunisation:
· Any child with compromised lung function, eg BPD. Those with severe asthma (needing long-term oral steroids) should be included.
· Any child with chronic heart disease.
· Any child with
impaired immunity, either congenital or acquired, those on immunosuppressive or anti-cancer drugs for whatever reason, as well as those on long-term oral steroids