First swine flu vaccine arrives in England as cases fall

The number of cases of swine flu continues to fall, as the first batches of the swine flu vaccine arrive in England.

Latest figures show that there were 5,000 new cases of the virus this week, with 134 PCTs reporting a decrease in weekly consultation rates for influenza-like illness.

A total of three new swine flu deaths have been recorded in England, six in Scotland and one in Wales and in Northern Ireland bringing the UK total to 65.

Speaking at a briefing in central London yesterday, Sir Liam Donaldson, England's CMO, said that the NHS needed to remain ‘on top of its game' despite the fall in cases.

Sir Liam added that the first supplies of the vaccine, 200,000 doses, have now arrived from Baxter and are awaiting licensing.

Sir Liam said that he was not concerned with reports that GPs would refuse to be vaccinated against swine flu. Earlier this week a Healthcare Republic survey found that almost 60% of GPs would say no to the jab.

But Sir Liam said: ‘The findings do not square up with the anecdotal impression that I get. I don't think it is a big problem. Most doctors seem to want the vaccine.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

 

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