Swine flu jabs start21st October 2009
The first phase of vaccinations for swine flu has got under way in the UK.
The move, aimed at combating the spread of the condition, will see seriously ill hospital patients and health staff caring for them as the first to receive the injections.
Family doctors will call in people with health problems, damaged immune systems and pregnant women for the immunisation.
However, the government’s chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson has raised concerns over the impact of the postal strike with GPs sending out appointment letters in the post.
But he urged everyone in the priority groups to have the vaccine and added: “This is the first pandemic for which we have had a vaccine to protect people.”
He also stressed the importance of NHS and social care staff coming forward to have the swine flu vaccine.
“It will help prevent them and their families getting the virus from patients, it will stop them passing the virus on to their patients, it will potentially protect them from mutated strains and it will reduce the disruption to NHS services caused by people being absent due to illness,” said Sir Liam.
Some 108 people have died in the UK from swine flu and half a million have been infected.
Worldwide, 4,735 swine flu-related deaths worldwide have been recorded by the World Health Organisation.
The two vaccines which will be used are manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter.
The Royal College of GPs said despite the scale of the programme, doctors were ready to immunise the priority groups.
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Title: Swine flu jabs start
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12968
Date Added: 21st Oct 2009