GP practices report sharp rise in flu jab requests

LOCAL doctors' surgeries have reported a surge in the number of people seeking the flu vaccine over the past couple of weeks.

GPs in Ballyclare and Glengormley have seen a sharp increase in the number of patients requesting the jab following media reports about people dying from flu-like illnesses.

Last year thousands of people across the world died during the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic. And recent reports of increasing numbers of people being admitted to hospitals with severe flu have sparked fears of another major outbreak of the illness.

While there is no separate swine flu vaccination programme this year, the H1N1 virus is included in the regular seasonal vaccine which offers protection against the three most common flu viruses.

At Ballyclare Group Practice, Practice Manager Sean Quinn said there had been "a surge" in the number of patients requesting the flu vaccine over the past few weeks.

Read the full story in this week's Times...