Swine flu vaccine available at Health Centre


182 people have died of swine flu in the UK.

The University of Lincoln Health Centre on the Brayford campus will start giving out swine flu vaccinations from Wednesday, November 18th.

Patients who are registered at the university surgery and fit in the “at risk” group were invited by letter last week to book their appointments. The group includes people with suppressed immune systems, long-term lung diseases such as asthma, and pregnant women.

Recently, there have been concerns over the safety of the swine flu jab for pregnant women, because the injection has not been tested on them. However, the World Health Organisation has updated their advice to recommend that mothers-to-be have the vaccine, saying it is similar to the seasonal flu jab.

Rates of swine flu infection in the East Midlands remain low in comparison to the rest of the country, but this is expected to change (PDF), as the winter months are approaching. In Lincolnshire as a whole there has been a decrease recently in the number of doctor’s appointments that were citing “influenza-like illnesses”.

Becca Murray, a student at the University of Lincoln, caught swine flu earlier this year and described the experience as “horrendous”. “I literally woke up one morning and went from being fine to not being able to get out of bed. My friends had to come and dress me and take me to the hospital to see a doctor.”

“I had a very high temperature, I didn’t eat or drink for two weeks solid. I couldn’t even drink water as I instantly threw it back up. My dad had to come get me… because I couldn’t survive [at university] on my own in the state that I was in. It was slightly embarrassing being carried by your dad when you’re 21. I had to miss the first two weeks of university, which I was very upset about.”

Murray suggests that if people are offered the swine flu jab they should have it: “I 1000% recommend people get the swine flu jab. I cannot explain how awful it is it.”

Department of Health advice regarding the prevention of flu is to “Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.”, and always use a tissue to catch sneezes, throw away used tissues, and wash your hands regularly. If you think you have swine flu, it is recommended to stay at home and contact the National Pandemic Flu Service.

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