By Andrew Lee in The Conversation.
Slow uptake of the seasonal flu vaccine could leave thousands of people at increased risk of infection. According to the Royal College of General Practitioners, the number of flu vaccinations delivered so far this year is down 6% on last year. And uptake is low across a range of vulnerable groups including the over-65s, children under five, and those with serious long-term health conditions such as chronic heart, lung or kidney disease.
We don’t know why the uptake has been so low, but we do know the reasons why this has been the case in previous years. They include concerns about the safety of the vaccine and false beliefs that the side-effects of the vaccine are worse than the actual disease. Some may also not believe that they are at risk from the disease or are sceptical about the value of vaccination. Another factor, related to the low effectiveness of the vaccine during last year’s flu season, may have contributed.
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