Swine flu epidemic 2011

As the nation prepares itself for a full scale epidemic due to swine flu there seems to be many conflicting reports circulating in regards to this. So far this year 39 people have died from swine flu with at least one of the deceased being confirmed as having the flu vaccine this year. The figures for those who have died for seasonal flu is just above the numbers for swine flu and both of them are just as lethal.

Autumn/Winter 2010 saw the government cut the funding for winter flu vaccine awareness, last year there were campaigns, posters and advertisements telling the nation how important it was to be vaccinated but this year it was cut and no campaign was launched. Since then the government have decided that they need to launch a full scale campaign as soon as possible in early 2011 but is it too late?

As many of us watch the news, listen to the radio or read the newspaper it has been widely publicised how many people have died from swine flu this year but as the media urges the nation to get the flu vaccination to stop the spread of swine flu it has been reported that surgeries have now ran out of the vaccine and have no idea when they will have more in stock. As over 65’s and pregnant women have been told they are more at risk there have been an influx of calls being made to local GP surgeries so they can have it administered but as they have run out there is no indication of when more will be back in stock.

If your surgery runs out of the flu vaccine then a prescription will be given to collect it from your nearest pharmacy but even they are running low on supplies. The government recently announced that under 5’s should also be vaccinated as they were also at risk but there has been no further indication that the vaccine will be available free of charge, instead worried parents are having to get it administered privately at a cost of £15 per vaccine.

Swine flu was said to be more dangerous for people who have underlying health conditions such as asthma and other respiratory problems but many healthy people have died so it looks like 2011 may have a new strain of swine flu.