Immunisation rates reaches highest coverage

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets thanks local health services for working in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council to achieve the highest levels of uptake of seasonal flu and Pertussis vaccinations as the winter immunisation programme draws to an end.
The over 65-year-old population reached the highest vaccination levels in London at 76 per cent, compared to the average of 69 per cent. Tower Hamlets came second for uptake amongst those most at-risk under the age of 65 at 61 per cent, compared to 51 per cent in London and the uptake of seasonal flu vaccination amongst pregnant women was 48 per cent, with London at 35 per cent.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “It is excellent to hear that so many residents are protecting themselves from the seasonal flu virus and accessing local health services to do so.”
The seasonal flu vaccination is provided to those over the age of 65, pregnant women and anyone whose health is at further risk from the flu, particularly those with a long-term condition.
Cllr Abdul Asad, lead member for health and wellbeing said: “As it is still winter, those whose health could seriously be affected by the flu should speak to their GP about receiving their vaccination if they haven’t done so already.”
Pregnant women are also offered the Pertussis vaccination which protects unborn babies from developing whooping cough. Whooping cough is a serious infection that causes long bouts of coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe and is particularly dangerous to new born babies in the first few weeks of life.
During the month of November, over 60 per cent of pregnant women in Tower Hamlets received the Pertussis injection, making it the highest number of pregnant women to receive this since its introduction in October 2012. There was an average of 40 per cent uptake across the capital.
Dr Somen Banerjee, Director of Public Health Tower Hamlets said: “By getting this injection, ideally within 28 – 32 weeks of pregnancy, women will protect their new born baby from developing whooping cough. After the injection, pregnant women produce antibodies to protect against whooping cough and some of these will be passed on to the unborn baby.”
The seasonal flu vaccination is offered until the end of March. Pregnant women can speak to their midwife or GP about the Pertussis vaccination.
As with previous seasons, the flu vaccination has been available from the majority of pharmacies in Tower Hamlets for adults who fall into these at-risk groups and are registered with a local GP.
More information on seasonal flu and the Pertussis vaccine can be found at NHS Choices:

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