‘Plenty of flu vaccines’ East End GPs say

FLU vaccines are in good stock in the East End, as fears arise over the amount of jabs available to GPs’ surgeries across London.

NHS Tower Hamlets said it has stocks of both the winter flu vaccine and the H1N1 swine flu variant for all its surgeries.

Earlier this month, the Government admitted some areas were experiencing “local supply issues” following reports that some GPs’ surgeries in London had run out of vaccines.

A spokesperson for NHS Tower Hamlets said: “We are working closely with the Department of Health to ensure we continue to have stock of both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1.

“We still have stocks of both vaccine types available in all four of our localities. Those GP practices without stock are organised to get them either from neighbouring practices or local pharmacies.”

Meanwhile, the amount of people in the borough receiving anti-viral drugs for flu has doubled, the latest figures show.

The Health Protection Agency’s latest survey on flu cases across the country showed that virus rates across Tower Hamlets dropped in the week ending while the use of medications to treat people rose.

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The most recent figures from the week starting on December 27 showed that 21 people were treated with anti-virals across the borough – up from just 13 the previous week.

However, the rate of infection per 100,000 people dropped to 111, down from 130.

The figures are collating from 43 per cent of the borough’s surgeries.

There are predictions the next set of figures will show increases in the amount of people contracting flu as children are back at school.

NHS Tower Hamlets is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated amid fears that many are ignoring the serious health risks they could face if they catch swine flu and other types of the virus.

Dr Theodora Kalentzi, deputy medical director, said the jab is safe, adding: “There is no evidence of this type of vaccine doing any harm at all during pregnancy.”