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Food For Flu As Pensioners Coaxed Out

Pensioners living in the south east of Coventry are to be given a free meal as part of a campaign to persuade them to have their flu jab.

Health professionals have been struggling for years to find ways to encourage older people to get the vaccine before the on-set of winter.

A major campaign last year across the city met with limited success, as elderly people failed to respond to pleas to come forward.

As a result a flu crisis almost paralysed Walsgrave Hospital as beds filled with people suffering from the illness.

One experiment which did prove a success was encouraging people to come along for a free lunch and an afternoon of socialising in the community.

Pensioners who have had the jab were also invited along to provide reassurance at the events in Canley and Tile Hill.

Despite the cost of the food, the scheme proved a lot more cost-effective than other efforts.

This year the idea has been adopted by Coventry Health Authority, Coventry Healthcare Trust and the South East Area Co-ordination Office.

There will be fun afternoons to give people a meal and a jab in Binley, Willenhall and Stoke Aldermoor.

There will be quizzes based around healthy eating, and “fruit” bingo. All participants will receive a goody bag with fruit and information on keeping warm during the winter.

Esther Higdon, Health Promotion Specialist at Coventry Health Authority, said:

“We are hoping to provide a fun, social afternoon for older people, which will also give them the opportunity to have their flu jab, if they have not already had one.”

The sessions are at: Binley Colliery Club, Wednesday 1 November, Haggard Centre Monday 6 November, Stoke Aldermoor Community Centre Thursday 9 November.

All lunches will be served at 1pm and anyone living in these areas is welcome to come along. Transport is available by calling 024 7663 9534.


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CWN / Health / Coventry Health Authority / 27 Oct 00
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