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Home Industry News Health experts ‘call for morbidly obese to have free flu jab’

Health experts ‘call for morbidly obese to have free flu jab’

18th March 2015

People that are classed as being morbidly obese should be entitled to a free flu vaccination, according to health experts.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which provides advice to the Department of Health (DH), has presented evidence to Public Health England that suggests those who are in this weight group are at a greater risk of complications and death from the virus.

A spokesperson for the body told the BBC that JCVI considered a host of research provided by Public Health England and came to the conclusion that morbidly obese people are more likely to experience complications and mortality if they catch influenza compared to healthy individuals.

Further evidence suggests that those in this particular weight group would respond well to the vaccine, the representative continued, adding: "The committee confirmed its advice that morbid obesity should be considered a risk factor for seasonal influenza vaccination."

According to the DH, the plan for next winter's flu season, which happens in the colder half of the year, is still being developed.

At present, those entitled to have a free flu jab are limited to pregnant women, people aged 65 and over and those with certain medical conditions that may not be able to fight the virus on their own, such as those with HIV or chronic heart disease.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801780294-ADNFCR

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