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Morbidly obese 'need flu vaccine'

Morbidly obese people should be given the flu vaccine, a body that provides advice to Department of Health has said.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said it had been given evidence from Public Health England showing people who are morbidly obese are at a greater risk of complications and death from flu.

A spokesman for the JCVI told the BBC: "JCVI considered a summary of evidence, provided by Public Health England, which indicated that morbidly obese people are at an increased risk of complications and mortality from influenza, relative to healthy individuals, and additional evidence suggesting that such individuals respond well to vaccine.

"The committee confirmed its advice that morbid obesity should be considered a risk factor for seasonal influenza vaccination."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health told the BBC the plan for this next winter's flu season is still being developed.

People currently entitled to have a free flu jab include pregnant women, those aged 65 or older and those with certain medical conditions such as HIV or chronic heart disease.

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