GPs urge patients to get vaccinated against flu

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Lurgan GPs are urging patients to get vaccinated against the flu and have published a list of clinics hosting vaccinations.

Surgeries will begin the flu clinics from the first week in October.

The Group Medical Practice, 60 High Street, will be holding their first clinic on Wednesday, October 1, from 2pm. Please contact the surgery to arrange an appointment.

Old School House Medical Centre, Antrim Road, will be holding Thursday evening clinics in October between 5.30pm-7pm. Please contact the surgery for details. Church Walk Surgery, Moore’s Lane Surgery, William Street Surgery and Wynne Hill Surgery will be sending appointment letters to all their patients eligible for vaccine.

Meanwhile the Public Health Agency (PHA) has launched phase two of its childhood flu vaccination programme which will see immunisation being offered to pre-school children aged two years and over, and all primary school children.

In the Southern Trust, nursing staff will deliver the flu vaccine to P1-P7 pupils in 210 schools.

Julie McConville, Head of Health Visiting and School Nursing at the Trust, explains: “We’re building on the success of last year’s vaccination programme which was offered to all P6 pupils.

“Our school nursing teams will be visiting primary schools from the end of September onwards and will be working in partnership with parents and teaching staff to provide this painless nasal spray vaccine.”

Dr Richard Smithson, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said: “Last year the vaccine was offered to primary six children and over 80% of children were vaccinated, by far the highest uptake in the UK.

“During autumn 2014 we will introduce the second phase of this vaccination campaign. All pre-school children aged two years and over on 1 September, 2014 and those in primaries one to seven will be offered the flu vaccine as part of the seasonal flu programme. Nearly all children will receive the vaccine via a quick and painless nasal spray. The nasal vaccine has been shown to provide even greater protection for children than the flu injection. There are a few children who cannot receive the nasal spray and they will be offered the injection instead.”

Primary school children will receive the vaccination at school and pre-school children aged two years and over will receive the vaccination through their local GP surgery.