Swine flu jabs for health workers in flood-hit Cumbria

Healthcare workers in Cockermouth are being offered swine flu, seasonal flu and pneumococcal jabs, NHS Cumbria has announced.

Dr Mike Bewick and Dr John Howarth at Cockermouth Community Hospital
Dr Mike Bewick and Dr John Howarth at Cockermouth Community Hospital

The workers are expected to face an increased risk of respiratory infections as they deal with the flooding in Cumbria. The vaccinations will help protect essential staff against infection and maintain workforce numbers, a spokeswoman for the PCT said.

A drop-in clinic will run today (Wednesday) and additional clinics for swine and seasonal flu vaccinations for at-risk groups have been arranged for later in the week. Local police officers, fire officers, volunteers, council workers, and journalists will also be offered vaccinations.

Dr John Howarth, NHS Cumbria's lead GP for Cockermouth, explained that the vaccinations were being offered because the risk of respiratory infections can increase following floods.

‘This is why it's important that we provide protection for those vital people who are working tirelessly to help the residents of Cockermouth to recover from this disastrous situation,' he said.

He added: ‘Three years ago, we wouldn't have been able to provide the same level of response. Now, thanks to NHS Cumbria's decision to put power into the hands of GPs, we now have the ability to respond to situations like this and deliver personalised community health care to patients, closer to home.'

Earlier this week Healthcare Republic reported on how buddying-up plans that were developed to cope with swine flu helped practices hit by the flooding in Cumbria to maintain services.




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