01/10/2002

UUP health spokesman backs flu jab for elderly

Ulster Unionist Party health spokesman, the Rev. Robert Coulter has urged those over 65 to have the flu vaccination as part of the Northern Health Board’s Flu Immunisation Campaign.

The North Antrim MLA said: “Many people do not realise that ‘flu puts at risk many people with chest diseases such as asthma, those with heart problems, kidney problems, diabetes and those whose immunity is impaired for whatever reason.

“Flu can lead to admission to hospital which can tie up beds badly needed for other conditions.

“Every year a new vaccine has to be developed to deal with a new strain of flu. So it is important to immunise each year.

“One worry some people have is that the vaccine can cause the ‘flu. This is not the case because the vaccine does not contain live virus."

Rev. Coulter revealed that the Department of Health has set a 70% target for take-up of the ‘flu vaccine in the over 65’s and again encouraged anyone who thinks they might be as risk to see their GP and "get the jab”.

(MB)

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