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Influenza: Vaccination

Health written question – answered on 2nd November 2011.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to reduce the age limit for free influenza injections to 60 years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Policy on national immunisation programmes, including seasonal influenza immunisation, is based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). JCVI has advised that the groups at greatest risk from flu eligible to receive flu vaccine on the national health service in the 2011-12 flu season are:

people aged 65 and over; and people under 65 years in clinical risk groups(1), including pregnant women.

(1) Serious medical conditions, which put people at increased risk from flu, are:

chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or bronchitis; chronic heart disease, such as heart failure; chronic kidney disease; chronic liver disease; chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease or motor neurone disease; diabetes; or a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment).

JCVI is currently reviewing the evidence regarding a number of potential extensions to the flu vaccination programme for future years and will provide advice in due course.

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