Vaccinations against swine flu begin in South Gloucestershire

Posted on Friday 30th October 2009 at 1:09 pm by SH (Editor)

Batches of the swine flu vaccine have begun to arrive in South Gloucestershire paving the way for the vaccination of frontline health and social care staff and patients in at risk groups to begin.

The vaccine against swine flu will be delivered to NHS South Gloucestershire and GP surgeries in South Gloucestershire from now up until the 9 November. NHS South Gloucestershire will hold its first clinic to vaccinate frontline health staff against swine flu on Monday 2 November.

Director of Public Health for South Gloucestershire, Dr Chris Payne, said: “It is very important that we offer the swine flu vaccine to our frontline health and social care workers and all the other at risk groups. Although swine flu is a mild illness for the majority of patients, for some it can be serious. I would therefore encourage everyone in the at risk groups to take up their offer of a vaccination.”

Across the UK around two million frontline health and social care workers will be offered the vaccine. Frontline health and social care workers are at increased risk of infection and of transmitting that infection to susceptible patients. Protecting these people will help the NHS workforce to remain resilient and able to treat sick patients.

The following at risk groups will be prioritised in the following order:

  • People aged over six months and under 65 years in current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at risk groups
  • All pregnant women
  • Household contacts of people with compromised immune systems e.g. 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.)

Patients will be contacted by their GPs if they fall into one of the at risk categories. GP surgeries will begin contacting those patients who fall into the at risk groups when they have stocks of vaccines available.

NHS South Gloucestershire has set up a variety of clinics in a variety of locations over a four week period in an effort to make it as easy as possible for its frontline staff to be vaccinated. It is also working with South Gloucestershire Council and some other organisations to ensure that staff who perform a frontline social care role are also offered a vaccine.

Michelle Jefferies, Matron at Thornbury Hospital is one of those who will be choosing to get the vaccination. She said, “I want to be vaccinated as it will protect me, my colleagues and patients and my family over the winter. I also hope my team members will choose to have the vaccine for exactly the same reasons and I will be encouraging them to do so.”

Source: NHS South Gloucestershire

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