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Two Thirds of Britons Freeze Out the Flu Jab

And is it any wonder when even their doctors aren't that keen?
Shock findings come as new report warns of civic duty to get immunised

 

Despite warnings that Britain is facing one of the worst winter flu outbreaks for years[1], two out of three Britons say they are not planning to have the annual jab that will give them immunity to the potentially killer virus, according to the findings of the sixth annual Cold & Flu Survey from Fisherman's Friend.[2]

Worryingly, more than six out of 10 older people including over 65s who are among the groups most vulnerable to developing a life-threatening form of the illness say they, too, have no plans to get themselves immunised.

Most shockingly, and despite strong official advice to the contrary, the OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by Fisherman's Friend, found that half of all healthcare professionals surveyed, including doctors, nurses and social workers, don't intend to have one either, while only one in six said they had already been immunised.

One in three doctors said they weren't sure if they would have time to have the jab, despite agreeing with strong NHS guidelines that all healthcare professionals dealing with groups most vulnerable to developing lethal forms of the virus including elderly people, pregnant women and young children should be immunised.

One in six doctors surveyed said they didn't believe that the jabs worked, while the same number said they were worried about getting ill from the job. One in six doctors said they were too scared of needles to have the jab, while one in three said they were confident they wouldn't get flu.

The shock findings come after the UK's International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) this week published a report calling for increased immunisation against infectious diseases, including seasonal influenza, as well as claiming that Britons should treat it as their civic duty to get immunised.

Fisherman's Friend spokesman Rob Metcalfe says: Despite widespread reports of a looming flu epidemic, and stringent warnings from the NHS for particularly vulnerable groups to get the flu jab, it seems the majority of us are rather blasé about getting immunised, while the attitude of healthcare professionals who took part in our survey is particularly worrying.

Metcalfe added that Britain's reluctance to get immunised had helped create a 14.7% rise in demand for Fisherman's Friends iconic Original Extra Strong Lozenges last year as people who contracted the virus sought to alleviate symptoms, while sales of some of the newer flavours in its seven-strong range, such as Blackcurrant, had more than doubled.

Meanwhile, the annual Fisherman's Friend poll found that only one in eight Britons had had the jab already, while one in seven was planning to have one. One in 13 said they were still undecided.

Bankers and IT workers were among the professional groups most reluctant to get immunised, while marketing professionals, travel agents and sales reps were most keen to have the jab.

 

Are you planning to have a flu jab this year? (all responses):

Yes I have already had one

13.2%

Yes I am planning to have one in the near future

13.9%

No

65.15%

I don't know

7.75%

How do you feel about having a flu jab? (all responses):

I think it's important

25.45%

I think it's important but I'm not sure I'll have time to have one

10.2%

I don't believe it works

12.15%

I'm worried about getting ill from the jab

11.85%

I'm scared of needles so I won't have one

5.4%

I'm confident I won't get flu so don't need a flu jab

12.5%

I only have one because I'm entitled to a free jab

4.2%

I'm entitled to a free jab but won't be having it

2.3%

None of the above

16%

Intention NOT to have flu job by age:

18-24 years

52.43%

25-34 years

65.87%

35-44 years

67.74%

45-54 years

69.38%

55+

62.17%

Intention NOT to have a flu job by profession:

Property developer

85.71%

Banker

81.82%

Engineer

76.04%

Firefighter

75%

Admin/office worker

74.93%

IT consultant

72.83%

Teacher

67.31%

Call centre worker

65.38%

Sport/leisure centre worker

64.71%

Builder

62.96%

Journalist/media professional

61.54%

Lawyer

60%

Chef

60%

Shop assistant

59.82%

Police officer

56.25%

Electrician

56.25%

Charity worker

55%

Social worker

54.55%

Accountant

54.55%

Doctor

50%

Nurse

50%

Taxi/lorry driver

50%

Estate agent

44.68%

Advertising/media professional

43.48%

Plumber

40%

Marketing professional

37.5%

Recruitment consultant

37.25%

Sales rep

36.11%

Travel agent

33.3%

Farmer

33.3%

[1] Warning by virologist Professor John Oxford, of Queen Mary University in London, October 2013

[2] OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults 52 w/e 8th November 2013

 

 

 

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