Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab

doctor reads chartIt’s flu vaccine season, and although a jab is no guarantee of protection, doctors urge the most vulnerable to have it done.

That call is taken up enthusiastically by the elderly in East of the city with vaccination rates over 75% in Newham and Tower Hamlets.  But in the more affluent West London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea the proportion of over 65s having it done is far lower, down to a little over 60%.

Flu jab map-2

The vaccine is given free to the over 65s and historically about 70% of elderly Londoners have heeded the health advice. But last year the proportion dropped slightly in the capital while it has remained consistent across England.

Flu vaccination is also given free of charge to pregnant women and children aged between 2 and 6.

The problem with providing an effective vaccine is that influenza is constantly mutating. Last year the vaccine offered little protection against the main strain of the disease that spread through the UK. Doctors are hoping that that failure will not push down rates of immunization this winter.

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See also

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Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

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