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Independents' Day

Swine flu jabs to start next week

By Steve Nowottny

The swine flu vaccination programme will get underway next week, with 415,000 doses to be delivered to acute trusts for the vaccination of high-risk patients and healthcare workers.

Delivieries of the vaccine to GP surgeries will begin a week later, from 26 October, with the rollout expected to last three to four weeks. Practices will be targeting more than 9 million at-risk patients, including those aged 6 months to 65 years old in at-risk groups for seasonal flu, pregnant women, household contacts of immuno-compromised individuals and over-65s in at-risk groups for seasonal flu.

1.24 million frontline healthcare workers and 850,000 social care workers are also due to be vaccinated.

It comes as the Department of Health said that rates of influenza-like illness were rising 'steadily rather than explosively'. There have been an estimated 27,000 cases over the past week, compared to an estimated 18,000 the week before.

There has also been a 'substantial' increase in the number of deaths linked to swine flu, with the cumalative figure now 106 in the UK.

Swine flu vaccination will begin next week Swine flu vaccination will begin next week

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