Flu jab 2017: 20% of doctors WON’T be getting vaccine over ‘concerns of effectiveness'

The vaccine’s effectiveness was questioned by 20 per cent of doctors, who chose not to get the flu jab this year.

The shock poll of 454 professional doctors, run by doctors’ network Doctors.net.uk, revealed 89 didn’t intend to have a flu jab in 2017.

71 per cent, meanwhile, had already received the flu jab.

Public Health England (PHE) still urged all GPs to get the flu vaccine, and maintained it was the best way to prevent infection this year.

The Doctors.net.uk medical team said: “Uptake of the flu vaccine amongst a sample 454 UK doctors is high at 71 per cent.

“Influenza, which kills an estimated 500,000 people globally each year, has been difficult to prevent because the virus confounds our immune systems, and our vaccines, by rapid mutation.

“Almost all doctors in this sample had been offered vaccination this year, and a small proportion (20 per cent) has declined, amid concerns about the likely effectiveness of the 2017 vaccine.”

Five per cent of the doctors said they hadn’t yet received the flu jab, but planned to do so.

The flu jab hadn’t been offered to four per cent of the doctors, they claimed.

Results of the poll came after PHE had previously revealed last year’s flu jab wasn’t very effective for those over 65.

But, the health watchdog maintained the vaccine was the best to prevent infection.

“The best way to protect yourself from flu is to get the vaccine each season if you are eligible,” said PHE Acting Head of Respiratory Disease, Dr Richard Pebody.

“We urge all GPs, and other front line healthcare workers, to get vaccinated to help keep themselves, their colleagues and vulnerable patients healthy and contribute to easing pressure on the NHS this winter.”

Latest figures show that 46 per cent of healthcare workers have taken up the vaccine up to the end of October 2017.

Compared to last year, six per cent more healthcare workers had received the flu jab, PHE said.

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