Swine Flu vaccine announcement

Tue, Nov 17, 2009


 21 October 2009


The Department of Health today announced:


  • The first deliveries of pandemic flu vaccine were sent to England NHS Acute Trusts today, for the start of the vaccination programme.


  • It will take 2-3 days to deliver to all Acute Trusts, with further supplies sent out in the following week. These supplies can be used for protecting frontline staff and patients in at-risk groups in hospital.


  • The earliest possible delivery date for the first supplies of vaccine to general practices is Monday 26 October 2009. It will take around 3-4 weeks to complete the distribution of first supplies to all practices. Initially practices will receive one box of Pandemrix vaccine containing 500 doses.



From 21 October, GPs and hospitals will be inviting around furosemide 60 mg 11 million people to be vaccinated against swine flu.  The UK is one of the first countries in the world to offer the pandemic vaccine.


All frontline health and social care workers as well as people in at risk groups will be eligible.


This is a large vaccination campaign so will take a number of weeks to roll out across the country to hospitals and GP surgeries.


The vaccine requires one dose and has been licensed by the European Medicines Agency and been endorsed for use in the priority groups by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations and by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


We urge everyone in the priority groups to have the vaccine – it will help prevent people in at risk groups from getting swine flu and the complications that may arise from it. And it will help stop health and social care workers from passing on the virus to their patients.


We’re very pleased we are able to start vaccinating people in at risk groups. This should help to save many lives.


This is the first pandemic for which we have had the vaccine to protect people.


The following at-risk groups will be prioritised in the following order (numbers given are approximate and are for England only):


  1. People aged over six months and under 65 years in current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups (about 5 million people).
  2. All pregnant women (about 0.5 million people).
  3. Household contacts of people with compromised immune systems e.g. people in regular close contact with patients on treatment for cancer (about 0.5 million people).
  4. People aged 65 and over in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups (about 3.5 million people). This does not include otherwise healthy over 65s, since they appear to have some natural immunity to the virus.


Patients will be contacted by their GPs if they fall into one of the at risk categories.

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