Countries in Europe have been urged to ensure more older people receive their annual flu jabs.
Experts recommend at least 75 per cent of people in vulnerable groups, including over-65s, receive the seasonal jab.
But none of 22 countries included in a report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reached the recommended level last year.
British countries were the best performing, with Scotland having the highest coverage at 72.8 per cent, followed by Northern Ireland then England and Wales.
Experts have now urged health officials in the nations to work harder to vaccinate vulnerable members of the public and health workers.
Scotland has the highest level of flu jabs among over 65-year-olds of anywhere in Europe, with the UK nations making up the entire top four but still falling short of the 75 per cent target
The report published by the ECDC revealed Estonia had the worst coverage among over-65s, with just two per cent of them being vaccinated.
Figures in the ranking table date from the 2016-17 flu season, the most recent point from which full data is available.
Latvia, Poland and Slovenia also sat at the bottom of the table, managing to vaccinate fewer than 10 per cent of senior citizens.
While the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and Portugal followed in the leading footsteps of the UK, handing out the jab to 60 per cent or more.
The ECDC’s Dr Pasi Penttinen told The Telegraph: ‘Influenza is one of the most preventable communicable diseases.
‘The 75 per cent target rate was a political policy target, to aim at sufficient protection.
‘Really we want everyone that is in need to be protected, but it’s almost 10 years since the target was agreed and still very few countries are close.’
The UK’s flu season last year was the most devastating one for seven years, with figures showing around 15,000 people died.
There are around 50million cases of the common virus in Europe each year, with around 40,000 people dying of it.
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE THE HIGHEST FLU JAB RATES?
- Scotland (72.8%)
- Northern Ireland (71.9%)
- England (70.5%)
- Wales (66.7%)
- The Netherlands (64.1%)
- Ireland (62%)
- Portugal (60%)
- Spain (55.5%)
- Italy (52%)
- Sweden (49.1%)
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE THE LOWEST FLU JAB RATES?
- Estonia (2%)
- Latvia (4.3%)
- Poland (6.87%)
- Slovenia (9.8%)
- Slovakia (13.3%)
- Hungary (19.9%)
- Lithuania (24.1%)
- Germany (34.8%)
- Norway (38%)
- Iceland (43.7%)
Although healthy people usually recover easily from the cold-like condition, those with weak immune systems are more at risk of serious, life-threatening complications.
Authorities recommend people over the age of 65, pregnant women, those with chronic or serious illnesses and young children get vaccinated.
Countries have been warned to vaccinate their doctors, nurses and other health workers, too, to avoid the infection spreading in hospitals and clinics.
‘It is completely unacceptable when healthcare workers in Europe are not covered,’ Dr Penttinen told the Telegraph.
‘Hospitals and health centres are places where especially vulnerable people in society are spending time.
‘There is a professional and moral duty of healthcare workers to ensure that they are not transmitting infections, including influenza.’
|Country||Coverage (%) in over-65s||Country||Coverage (%) in over-65s|
|* Figures for 60+ years old||** Figures for 59+ years old|
- Flu vaccine seems to be working well, weakening punch of nasty bug
- Spanish minister says older people found 'dead and abandoned'
- Britain hits coronavirus daily testing target
- America's first coronavirus victim, 57, died in February after the infection caused her heart to 'burst', autopsy report reveals
- Britain may have hit its daily testing target: minister
- UK coronavirus vaccine trialled on people from this Thursday as £42.5m ploughed into jab
- Three-quarters of child abuse pics are hosted in Holland, report reveals as coronavirus lockdown fuels sick trade
- It's time to get your flu shot, health officials urge
- Flu season warning: Babies and children hit particularly hard this year
- Race Against Time: Producers Rush to Find COVID-19 Vaccine as Global Infections Pass 3.3Mln
- 'Trolls could sow chaos' with NHS coronavirus tracking app: Experts warn there's NOTHING to stop people lying to program and say foreign spies could shut down entire cities with false reports
- Sleep your way to beating corona: It's a crucial way to boost your immunity and could be a vital weapon in fighting off the virus, says this leading expert
No country in Europe hit crucial flu vaccination targets among older people last winter, report reveals have 758 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at December 20, 2018. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.