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GPs concerned over seasonal flu outbreak
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 1457
Location: Hampshire
There is 'deep concern' among senior GPs that a major flu crisis is brewing, amid reports that fewer patients in at-risk groups are coming forward for the seasonal flu jab.

The Department of Health said that even those people in at-risk groups who received the swine flu jab last year should still come forward for the new vaccine, which protects against swine flu and other types, including flu type B.

The British Medical Association said lower immunisation rates have raised fears that a normal seasonal flu outbreak could mutate into something more serious, especially with swine flu circulating again this winter.

An estimated 67.2% of over-65s and 41.5% of under-65s in at-risk groups - including pregnant women and those with diabetes and heart disease - have had the flu jab in England, down on vaccination rates seen this time last year for at-risk groups.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, has now written to the Government urging it to step up its publicity campaign.

He said: 'Family doctors are already seeing high rates of influenza and they have been telling us that they are also seeing a lower uptake than usual for seasonal flu immunisation.

'Myths persist about the safety of the vaccine, especially after swine flu. It has been thoroughly tested and we strongly urge patients to make an appointment and get vaccinated.'


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