Thursday, December 10, 2009

Plans drawn up to ensure swine flu vaccine given to under-fives 12/10/09 7:28am

Plans are being drawn up to ensure under-fives are given a swine flu vaccination.

They are the next at-risk group in line to receive the immunisation from the NHS.

Nationally, the Government and GPs have failed to reach an agreement on the swine flu vaccination programme for under-fives.

Ministers had offered doctors £5.25 per dose plus a "small concession'' to vaccinate healthy children aged from six months to five.

But the two sides have been unable to agree on how doctors will be compensated for carrying out the vaccinations.

The Government has now asked primary care trusts to come up with plans for handling immunisation in their area.

Dr Peter Marks said: "The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is committed to the vaccination of healthy children aged six months up to five years.

"This age group has been identified as being quite vulnerable to the virus and should be given this extra protection.

Staff at GP practices have been doing a magnificent job vaccinating thousands of people in the phase one at-risk groups and still have many patients to see.

"Meanwhile, parents of healthy children who are aged from six months but who are not yet five, should wait until they are invited to attend a vaccination session."

The trust said children's vaccinations would start once the most at-risk group had been immunised, but could not confirm when this would be.

The most at risk include patients with underlying health conditions, such as liver, kidney, heart and lung disease, as well as pregnant women and people who are living with patients with a reduced immunity.

UPDATE 12/10/09 7:51AM

Agreement reached - kids are to get the Swine Flu Vaccine in U.K.

Children in the region will get the swine flu vaccine as the NHS in the North East is the first to reach a deal with GPs for the next phase of the vaccinating campaign.
Plans to vaccinate healthy children aged from six months to five against the virus suffered a setback after talks between the Government and doctors broke down earlier this week.

But Martin Wilson, director of NHS flu resilience in the region, said: "I can confirm that we have reached agreement with GPs via the six local medical committees across the North East to implement the next phase of the swine flu vaccination programme.

"GP surgeries in the region will receive the same payment agreed for the original at risk priority groups.

"This is great news for patients in the North East and I would like to thank GPs across the region for their ongoing hard work in the fight against this virus and their clear commitment to ensure that vaccination of at risk children can begin seamlessly.

"We have committed to further local discussions about actual impact on practices once we see what the uptake of the vaccine is for children in the six months to under five years group.

"The supply of the swine flu vaccine is increasing and we should therefore be able to begin vaccinating children before Christmas. Parents of children in the priority group will receive further information as soon as the vaccination of the original at risk groups in each practice is complete."

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