The entire population of the UK could soon receive vaccinations for swine flu, it has emerged.
Health chiefs are looking at which vulnerable patients should be given the vaccine first as part of what would be the biggest vaccination programme of the past 50 years.
The move is aimed at protecting the population before the bug becomes more virulent, and comes after the death of the first British swine flu patient with no underlying health problems. This takes the number of swine flu-linked deaths in the UK to 15.
Peter Holden, the British Medical Association’s lead negotiator on swine flu, told The Sunday Times: ‘The high risk groups will be done at GPs’ surgeries.
‘People are still making decisions over this, but we want to get cracking before we get a second wave, which is traditionally far more virulent.
‘If the virus does (mutate), it can get a lot more nasty, and the idea is to give people immunity. But the sheer logistics of dealing with 60 million people can’t be underestimated.’