FW: UK Including Swine Flu in Seasonal Flu Jab

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2010-09-22 07:45:05

Attachments : You wanna join the queue? Naaaa, just get it at Tesco or Asda for £8 – like they offered it last year!!   (Yikes!) From: Kathy Roberts [mailto:weerkhr@pacbell.net] Sent: 20 September 2010 22:34To: Undisclosed-Recipient: ;@smtp102.sbc.mail.ne1.yahoo.comSubject: UK Including Swine Flu in Seasonal Flu Jab www.telegraph.co.uk/…   Swine flu vaccine to be included in winter flu jab The swine flu vaccine is to be included in the winter flu jab for the first time in a bid to stop the virus from returning.   By Laura RobertsPublished: 7:30AM BST 20 Sep 2010 The swine flu vaccine is to be included in the winter flu jab for the first time in a bid to stop the virus from returning. Photo: Getty Images Combining immunisation against the flu with the swine flu vaccine would prevent people from being able to turn down the swine flu jab without also missing out on the usual protection against winter flu viruses. However, concerns have been raised about the swine flu vaccine after possible side-effects from the vaccine were reported in several European countries. The Department of Health said it intended to reassure patients that the vaccine was safe. The government has more than 30 million swine flu vaccines left over after responding to the outbreak of the swine flu pandemic last year. The World Health Organisation has advised governments to keep issuing the vaccine during the “post pandemic” period to protect against a possible resurgence of the H1N1 strain. The Department for Health has decided to implement the advice immediately. Up to 7 million people have the seasonal flu jab each year and it is offered to vulnerable groups such as people over 65, those with heart disease or chest problems, diabetics, and a range of others. Last year 4.5million people were vaccinated against swine flu focusing mainly on frontline health workers, pregnant women and the under-fives. However, millions turned down the vaccination because they were concerned that it had not been fully tested. The safety of a swine flu vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was investigated by European drugs regulators after possible links to narcolepsy, a rare condition which causes people to fall asleep suddenly. Health officials in Finland suspended the vaccination programme in August this year following reports of narcolepsy in eight people who had received the jab. So far there have been 27 reports of suspected narcolepsy in people across Europe who had previously been vaccinated with Pandemrix, the H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by GSK. A further ten cases have been reported in Sweden, six in France, and one each in Germany and Norway. There have been no reported cases in Britain. The Department of Health said the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority, which monitors vaccines, had given the H1N1 jab the all-clear after fears in Europe over the narcolepsy outbreak. She said: “By March this year, that vaccine had been given out 5.5million times and there have been no reported cases of narcolepsy in Britain. There is very little change to the seasonal flu vaccination which will still protect against a large number of flu viruses. It is simply that the swine flu vaccine has been added. People will be notified of this when they receive their invitation letters to get the jab so it won’t be a surprise.” In December last year, the European Medicines Agency expressed concerns that children given a second dose of the single swine flu vaccine may also develop a high fever. Parents and doctors were urged to keep watch on a child’s temperature after research found they were more likely to suffer a fever following the second dose compared with after the first. Youngsters were also more likely to suffer soreness at the site of injection as well as drowsiness, irritability and loss of appetite after the second dose. In Britain 457 people died during the swine flu pandemic which cost the government more than £1.2billion. The report said there was a lack of flexibility once the Department of Health signed contracts for swine flu vaccines with the drug manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Baxter. Baxter agreed to a “break clause” allowing the Government to cancel its order for some of the doses but GSK refused.

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