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Swine flu vaccine available

PUBLISHED: 12:19 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:18 30 June 2010

PARENTS of youngsters aged six months to five years are being encouraged to take their children for the swine flu vaccination.

Doctors are encouraging parents and guardians in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area that the vaccination is safe and available for all children aged six months to five years.

PARENTS of youngsters aged six months to five years are being encouraged to take their children for the swine flu vaccination.

Doctors are encouraging parents and guardians in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area that the vaccination is safe and available for all children aged six months to five years.

Dr Tim Morton, a GP at Beccles Medical Centre, said: “Most parents have realised that this is a safe well-tested vaccine and children are most vulnerable to this particular virus.

“The swine flu pandemic fortunately hasn't been as bad as first feared but has resulted in a few deaths and many hospital admissions in this age group and the virus is likely to circulate in the community for many months if not years so it would seem prudent and sensible to offer protection to this age group.”

The vaccine is available at all GP practices following a local agreement between doctors and the primary care trust, NHS Yarmouth and Waveney, to offer the jab to the thousands of children in the age bracket.

Dr Shamsher Diu, Public Health Consultant for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “In line with Department of Health guidance, we began rolling out the swine flu vaccination for children aged between six months and five years old at the start of this year.

“I would urge all parents and carers with children under five to contact their GP and book an appointment for the vaccination. It is really important to help protect your child's health, your health, and indeed the health of those around you too. Remember, if you can't catch swine flu, you can't pass it on to anyone else!

“GPs have plenty of vaccine available for everyone in the priority groups and are ordering additional supplies as and when they need them.”

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 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.

Children aged six months to five years.

Anyone who has flu-like symptoms should not contact their GP, but should instead ring the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1513100 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu.

To help 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.


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