Many people especially older ones susceptible to flu and other winter ailments have got into the habit of having a seasonal flu jab as we enter autumn.
Millions of people are regularly vaccinated including the long term sick, people in susceptible job roles and even pregnant women.
This year’s campaign is now under way with a tripartite action against the major virus strains identified as being the most threat this year.
Last years potential swine flu pandemic led to the production of tens of millions of H1N1 doses of vaccines. Whilst most stocks were not used in this country many millions were administered worldwide without any major reported safety issues.
Some patients though refused the H1N1 vaccine last year following concerns about its speed of production as the government geared up for a full scale pandemic and also it’s perceived lack of extensive testing.
This year’s seasonal flu jab contains the vaccine against swine flu as it is one of the three flu strains being targeted. This does not mean that there is the same level of concern about a pandemic of swine flu but simply that major flu viruses often develop into seasonal strains in the years following major outbreaks.
The concern though is that those people who refused the single dose swine flu vaccine last year, for whatever perceived concerns, will now be vaccinated with it unknowingly. That is unless their doctor takes valuable surgery time to help them make an informed decision.