By Mail On Sunday Reporter
Last updated at 11:57 PM on 14th June 2008
Twenty-three people have died in the past five years after a routine flu jab.
23 people have died from heart attacks, blood infections and pneumonia after having routine flu jabs
Official figures show that a further 123 people given the winter vaccine suffered a suspected reaction so severe they were taken to hospital. (AND THESE ARE JUST THE ONES THAT ARE LINKED TO THE VACCINE – many more are unknown)
Causes of death included heart attacks, blood infections and pneumonia, while asthma and kidney failure were among reported side-effects.
The statistics, revealed by Health Minister Dawn Primarolo, raise fears over the safety of the vaccine, which is taken by eight million people in Britain every year.
Government policy is to offer the jabs to everyone over 65 and those with existing conditions that could be worsened by flu.
Experts say the deaths could be coincidental and no direct link to the injection has been established.
But there are now calls for further research to identify whether some people could be put in danger by having the jab.
Ms Primarolo insisted the flu vaccine was safe and added: ‘The balance of benefits to risks remains overwhelmingly positive.’