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Challenges for delivering the Winter Flu Jab 2021/22

Catherine Heffernan looks at how influenza vaccinations will be conducted in the aftermath of COVID-19

Winter 2020/21 saw the highest uptake of influenza (flu) vaccine in the UK. Almost 81% of people aged 65 years and over were vaccinated.1 This was a jump from 72.4% in the 2019/20. Uptake in the 2 and 3 year olds was also the highest ever recorded, at 56.7% compared to 43.8% the previous year.

The clinical-at-risk group (those aged 6 months to 64 years) which traditionally has had much lower uptake rates than other eligible cohorts, also saw an increased to 53%, the highest achieved in the last seven seasons. Amongst healthcare workers, 76.8% of all frontline health care workers with direct patient care received the flu vaccine, up from 74.3% in the 2019 to 2020 season.2 Pregnant women remained stable and the new cohort of 50-64 years (and not in a clinical risk group) had 35.2% uptake.

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