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Health chiefs' swine flu jabs appeal

PUBLISHED: 14:58 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:45 06 July 2010

HEALTH bosses in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are urging people to be patient until the swine flu vaccination programme is rolled out.

GP practices will contact those identified as being in the priority groups and doctors are asking people not to contact their surgery for more information on the vaccine.

HEALTH bosses in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are urging people to be patient until the swine flu vaccination programme is rolled out.

GP practices will contact those identified as being in the priority groups and doctors are asking people not to contact their surgery for more information on the vaccine.

Clarification on when GP practices will receive the swine flu vaccine is due from the Department of Health over the coming days.

Dr Shamsher Diu, public health consultant for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We understand people are anxious to find out when the vaccine will be ready and when they can have the injection - however, we are still waiting for more information on when the vaccination will be received.

“GP practices are very busy and we would ask people not to block phone lines by calling for more information.

“As soon as we know this we will inform GP practices across Great Yarmouth and Waveney so all those in the priority groups can be notified.”

The Department of Health has confirmed the priority groups for the vaccine are:

People aged over six months and under 65 years in current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups;

Pregnant women;

Household contacts of people with compromised immune systems, eg people in regular close contact with patients on treatment for cancer;

People aged 65 and over in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups. This does not include otherwise healthy over 65s, since they appear to have some natural immunity to the virus.

Dr Diu said: “Patients are reminded that the swine flu vaccine is different to the existing seasonal flu injection. If you are eligible for the seasonal flu vaccine it is advised you have this as soon as possible.”

To avoid catching swine flu or seasonal flu use a tissue to catch sneezes, dispose of used tissues where germs can linger and regularly wash your hands.

Anyone who has flu-like symptoms should not contact their GP, but should instead ring the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1 513 100 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu

People should only contact their GP if they have a serious underlying illness, are pregnant, have a sick child under one year old or their condition suddenly gets much worse.

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