In the House of Commons today (19th December), Michael Fabricant raised the vital importance of getting a flu jab or nasal vaccine to help prevent serious complications from the normally mild Strep A infection.
Michael said to the Health Minister, Maria Caulfield: “While I am pleased to hear that there are adequate supplies of Penicillin and Amoxicillin, my Hon Friend will be aware that some tetracyclines are less effective with certain ethnic groups.
“But she is right in saying that most Strep A infections are not serious. Does she agree with me that we should be encouraging parents to give their children flu vaccinations because, usually, serious streptococcal infections occur when someone has been run-down through a viral infection. such as flu, first?”
The Minister replied: “My Hon Friend is right to advise people to take their flu vaccination. What I was trying to say, which the Opposition did not want to hear, was that Strep A occurs in all age groups, and actually the higher number of deaths that we see are in the over-65s. It is important to get that message out that this isn’t just an issue that affects children.
“My Hon Friend is right: the flu vaccine is always something that should be recommended at winter, and he is also right that the alternative antibiotics that are read out have been recommended by UKHSA, and we have taken their clinical advice.”
Michael now says: “There are ample supplies of recommended antibiotics to tackle Strep A in the West Midlands. But a nasal flu vaccine for children and a jab for older people can help prevent a Strep A infection from becoming serious in the first place. Everyone should consider having a flu vaccination as seriously as a Covid vaccination. While many people had simultaneous flu and Covid vaccinations – one in each arm – a significant number did not. It’s not too late to get a flu vaccination for yourself and for your children. You should do so urgently – especially if you are in a vulnerable age group.”