Holidaymakers urged to get flu jabs

06 October 2011 10:19

People flying out on holidays risk their lives by not getting vaccinated against seasonal flu, the Chief Medical Officer warned

People flying out on holidays risk their lives by not getting vaccinated against seasonal flu, the Chief Medical Officer warned

Holidaymakers are risking their lives each year by not getting anti-seasonal flu jabs, the UK's Chief Medical Officer has warned.

The risks of catching flu and other conditions is a strong reason to organise comprehensive medical travel insurance.

New figures show 87% of people quizzed in a survey would get vaccinated against tropical diseases before trips abroad, but only half of under 65s who were advised to get the seasonal flu jab did so in 2010.

However, seasonal flu can endanger life - there were 602 deaths with flu in the UK last year, with 70% of those among 15-64 year olds. And those travelling routinely accept jabs against yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A before flying off on holidays to Thailand or Africa.

A potentially life-saving flu jab would take five minutes, Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said.

She added: "Flu can be a serious illness - particularly for those in at risk groups. It can result in a spell in hospital, and sadly, flu can kill. The best way to protect yourself is to be vaccinated."

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