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Groups named as first to get new swine flu vaccination

14 August 2009

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The first groups to receive the swine flu vaccine in the UK will include pregnant women and frontline health and social care workers, it has been announced.

People classed as “high-risk” – such as those suffering from asthma, heart disease or a compromised immune system – will also be among the 13 million to be vaccinated initially.

All those to receive the jab from October will be aged six months to 65, while no healthy people of any age will be given the jab in the coming months, the government said.

But those living with patients who have compromised immune systems, as well as anyone over 65 in an at-risk group, will receive the vaccination first.

It has been calculated there is about 9.4 million people in England who are among the priority groups in line for the jabs, alongside 2.1 million frontline health and social care workers.

This number falls to 1.4 million in Scotland, while about 400,000 people will be given the jab in Northern Ireland. A figure has not yet been identified for Wales.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said: “We are looking at the prospect of extending the vaccine to healthy groups and the timing of that.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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