The Winter 2010 flu vaccine drive
[Latest bollocks. This doesn't make any sense: 'Earlier this month the Government was forced to raid last year’s unused stock of the swine flu vaccine after hundreds of surgeries ran out of jabs.' Do they keep used stock? Forced to raid? What are they keeping it for? To go out of date? Yeah right! Sounds like they want to cut out the middle men--the GPs, who will apply some common sense, and let the drug companies or government (same thing) run riot. Notice the fearmongering Headline, the only thing most people will read. This, if true (and you would trust them with stats as far as you could throw your car), would be no more than any winter. And don't forget the vaccine is proven useless, proven highly toxic (Adverse reactions), and you can't vaccinate against toxic air or vitamin deficiency, while Vitamin C would save most of the deaths.]
Last updated at 10:35 AM on 21st January 2011
The number of people killed by flu this winter more than doubled from 112 to 254 in the past week, figures revealed last night.
More than 90 per cent of victims had swine flu and the remainder influenza B or H2N3, the two other strains in circulation.
The sharp increase comes as the Government suggested that following this year’s shortages, it would strip GPs of the power to order flu vaccines.
But the bleak death toll figures were also accompanied by better news, that the flu outbreak appears to have passed its peak – with infection rates dropping significantly.
Many of the newly recorded flu victims probably caught the illness two or three weeks ago when infection rates were at their highest, experts believe.
And more than 80 per cent of the fatalities were in an ‘at risk group’, including pregnant women and those with conditions such as asthma, diabetes or Alzheimer’s.
Infection rate figures show there are now 66.5 cases of flu per 100,000 people, down from 108 the previous week and well below the 124 at the beginning of this month.
The number of patients with flu in intensive care has also fallen to 418, compared with 661 last week.
According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which compiles the figures, it is usual for there to be a ‘lag time’ between the peak in infection rates and the highest number of deaths.
Professor John Watson, head of the HPA, said many of those who had recently died probably caught the disease during the height of the outbreak and their condition had rapidly deteriorated.
He also said that there was often a delay in hospitals reporting data, meaning many of the deaths recorded this week may have happened several weeks ago.
The number of people killed by flu this winter more than doubled from 112 to 254 in the past week, and over 90 per cent of victims had the H1N1 strain (swine flu)
On flu vaccines, Professor David Salisbury, the Government’s head of immunisation, said there was a ‘pretty compelling’ case to strip family doctors of their responsibility following the widespread shortages this winter.
Earlier this month the Government was forced to raid last year’s unused stock of the swine flu vaccine after hundreds of surgeries ran out of jabs.
Under the current system, GPs order a set number of vaccines at least six months before the flu season starts, based on projections of how many are likely to be affected.
But many have been blamed for underestimating the demand.
This meant that when infection rates suddenly began to rise at the beginning of last month, pregnant women and other ‘at risk’ patients wanting jabs were turned away.
Professor Salisbury is chairing a review which will consider whether all vaccines should be ordered centrally. Another option would see the Government keeping an emergency stockpile which could be drawn upon if GPs run out of supplies.
He said: ‘Certainly this winter we have seen an unsatisfactory position. That is a situation that we don’t want to see happen again.
‘We compare that with the routine childhood immunisation programme where we have not had to suspend part of the programme because of shortage of vaccine for at least a decade.
‘This argues that we do need to look very carefully at whether flu vaccine supply can be done on a more dependable basis.’
The Health Protection Agency stressed that the flu fatality figures were only a ‘snapshot’ of the total death toll since October last year and represented cases where doctors have confirmed the diagnosis through laboratory testing.
When annual figures are compiled there are normally at least 3,000-4,000 additional deaths thought to be linked to flu.