By: EITHNE DONNELLAN, Health Correspondent
10 January 2011
FAMILY DOCTORS will be advised this week to save remaining limited stocks of seasonal flu vaccine for two patient groups – pregnant women and at-risk children.
The advice, to be sent to all GPs by the Health Service Executive, will also say they should give leftover supplies of last year’s pandemic or swine flu vaccine to all other at-risk groups seeking vaccination which would include those over 65 years and adults with chronic heart, lung or kidney disease, as well as their carers.
GPs will each be sent about 500 doses of last year’s swine flu vaccine, known as Pandemrix, for use on those patients.
Doctors will also be advised that those at-risk patients who are given the Pandemrix vaccine should be recalled in a few weeks to get the seasonal flu vaccine when stocks are replenished as it provides protection against two other strains of flu currently in circulation in addition to swine flu. Pandemrix only protects against swine flu.