Avian flu may boost jab uptake

GPs should continue promoting the flu vaccine following the outbreak of avian flu at a poultry farm in Suffolk, according to the WHO preparedness plan.

However, Suffolk GP Dr Peter Butters, whose practice is near the farm where 159,000 turkeys were culled, said that his practice had only received one enquiry, from a poultry worker, for the flu vaccine. Workers at the infected farm were vaccinated at the weekend.

North Somerset GP Dr Richard Lawson, who first offered flu jabs to poultry workers in October 2005, suggested that GPs in the nearby area should double or treble their vaccination stocks to cope with demand.

In December, the DoH recommended that poultry workers should be given the NHS flu jabs from 22 January.

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