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CMO urges nurses to get swine flu vaccine


The Chief Medical Officer has urged all priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers, to get vaccinated against swine flu.

A programme to immunise people considered to be at risk of swine flu has now been introduced. Sir Liam Donaldson said it was important that people take advantage of it.

He said: “I urge everyone in the priority groups to have the swine flu vaccine - it will help prevent people in clinical risk groups from getting swine flu and the complications that may arise from it.”

His sentiments were echoed by Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, who also called for health workers to get the vaccine.

He said: “We think it is essential that nurses and all other health workers, particularly those that come into contact with patients, should have the jab.”

When asked whether the vaccine was safe he said he was “entirely satisfied” because it had undergone “rigorous testing” and claimed he was prepared to take it himself as it is “a safe vaccine”.

He said: “It’s important for them to keep well so that they are available to care for patients in the normal run of things but if the pandemic really takes off we are going to need those nurses on the wards to help to cope with the influx of those that are seriously ill.”


Will you get the swine flu vaccine?

View poll results

Readers' comments (4)

  • It will be interesting to see if us as student nurses are offered the jab as we will also be "on the front line" when on placement, particularly throughout the winter.

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  • Martin Gray

    This flu strain is no worse than all the others, the fact that there have been a very small percentage of deaths, mainly in thiose with underlying medical co-morbidities, does not prove it is to be the 'killer' disease as has been portrayed. If someone starts to develop flu-like symptoms then they have a responsibility to isolate themselves at home; unfortunately the onset will also mean they have been a source of contagion prior to onset of symptoms.

    To say it is our duty to have the flu vaccination is over stepping the mark. We are all adults and professionals, very capabloe of making our own decisions without having to be unduly pressured into making a choice. The real problem is that the NHS management, DoH, and the government are petrified following all the hype from the USA and Mexico following the initial outbreak. This has cascaded down to the public through the media, making the whole situation much worse. Where has common sence gone in our society? Flu is with us every year, why is it going to be any different this year? The poll seems to support mt opinion that nurses are making their own decision thank you sir Liam.

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  • I am really in two minds about this. I have had flu a couple of times but never felt the need to have the jab as I have no underlying health problems and flu is just flu. There is no guarantee that the jab will not cause a reaction, and no guarantee that we will not get flu after having it anyway. The pressure from 'on high' is making me feel uncomfortable as I would never willing put others at risk by my behaviour. However, I would also never willingly put drugs into my body that are not absolutely necessary and I do not appreciate being made to feel guilty for my apprehensions. These recommendations are so full-on, it almost make me feel there is something we are not being told?

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  • I suggest you look at the BBC Have a say site and just look at how many "ordinary" citizens are unwilling to have this vacccination. My main concern is that this has been produced using sqaulene which was implicated in the deaths that happened when USA implemented its vaccination programme after an epidemic in the USA in 1976. The number of deaths from the administration of the vacccine exceeded the deaths from the swine flu and the vaccination programme was halted. Show us the research that is available on the current trials of vaccine and I may change my mind. Is the current recruitment freeze that is affeccting a large number of Pcts a result of all the money spent on Tamiflu (lots of which looks to have been stocked in medicine cabinets by the worried well, who only had to say they were suffering from two symptons from a list to be diagnosed with swine flu!) and a vaccine that has been rushed through and been given exemption from any comeback should you have any advers effects. This smacks of a knee jerk reaction by a government trying to prove it is control of the situation. Using people off the street after 3 - 5 hours training to diagnose whilst using healthcare professional (sometimes grade 6, 7 and above) to distribute the Tamiflu!! This whole scenario has been very badly managed from the start. Oh and by the way as you would have gathered I will not be having the vaccine

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