GPs struggle to reach pay thresholds as swine flu 'too low to estimate'

Vaccination against swine flu remains important, the DoH has stressed as data show that uptake in England is falling short of GP pay thresholds.

Uptake of 50.7% is required for the thresholds of the patient experience indicators in the QOF to be lowered for 2009/10.

So far, 39% of those in at-risk groups and 22% of pregnant women have been vaccinated against swine flu.

Around 8% of healthy children have been vaccinated so far, but the national agreement on payment for swine flu jabs did not include vaccinations for this group.

The DoH has warned that swine flu is continuing to cause deaths and critical care admissions, even though case numbers are now low.

Total case numbers are too low to estimate, but 211 patients are in hospital with swine flu and 103 are in critical care. Since the pandemic began around 360 patients have died from the infection.

England's CMO Sir Liam Donaldson, said that, although swine flu has not been a severe illness for most people, children and younger adults have developed serious complications, been admitted to hospital and some have died.

‘When the virus returns in the 2010 flu season those who develop complications or die will be doing so from a vaccine preventable disease,' he said. ‘I strongly advise that those eligible for the vaccine who have not yet had it, get the jab and protect themselves.'

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