Doctor says no easy way to get elderly on to flu jab

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A LEADING consultant has said there was no “silver bullet” to solve the fact that only half of under-65s at risk of flu have received their annual jab.

While more than three-quarters of over-65s have been vaccinated this winter, just 52.8 per cent of 86,000 younger Lothian residents in at-risk groups have taken up the offer.

The statistics were revealed as it emerged 300 cases of flu were confirmed in Lothian this year – a rise on this time 12 months ago when the flu season struck later than usual.

Dr Duncan McCormick, consultant in public health for NHS Lothian, said it was not too late for those who had not yet received a flu jab to do so.

He said: “It gets better each year, but we still have a way to go with under-65s. There’s quite a lot of discussion about the best way to get people involved. There’s no ­silver bullet.”

Last week, it was revealed Lothian hospitals were among the hardest-hit by the norovirus winter vomiting bug in Scotland.

Figures showed there were 39 patients ill with norovirus in the region’s hospitals, one more than in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area and 14 more than Lanarkshire.