» Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Flu vaccinations

Asked what the Prime Minister would say if he was asked whether he had had a flu jab, the PMOS said that it was not actually relevant whether Ministers had or had not had flu jabs because we believed it was right that organisations should encourage staff to have the vaccination. However since it had been asserted in one newspaper this morning that the Prime Minister and his wife had had the jab he would like to make it clear that that was simply not true. Normally we did not comment on these matters but since it was asserted to the contrary we wanted to set the record straight. Asked if it was irresponsible for the Prime Minister not to have a flu jab, the PMOS said that it was funny but on the way over a colleague predicted that self same question. He was pleased that one journalist had the courage to do ask what the others had not.

Asked if the Prime Minister accepted that the shortage of flu jabs was not the fault of GPs, contrary to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Health, the PMOS said that the factual situation was that GPs, manufacturers and officials met in the spring to estimate what was required. As the Prime Minister said, last year 1.3million of the flu jabs we ordered weren’t used. The decision was taken this year to still order that 1.3million additional doses and on top of that an additional 1million. Thus we had 2million extra doses than were estimated we needed. As it turned out, due to a mixture of increased awareness and concerns over bird flu, the demand has been greater. That was simply a statement of the facts. There was no point getting into the blame game on this.

Asked specifically about whether we were holding GPs responsible for the shortfall, the PMOS said that there had been increased demand not just from the risk groups but from others as well, but that was simply a statement of fact. Of course we wished that we didn’t have this problem, but one consequence of this was that the population this winter was more protected against flu than in previous winters. Questioned again the PMOS said that as a result of increased awareness and bird flu there was increased demand, that was the simple fact of the matter and that is what we had to deal with. The Secretary of State for health would have a weekly update on the situation on the ground as we dealt with it.

Put to him that his assertion that people would be greater protected was undermined by the possibility that less people in the risk groups were receiving the jabs, the PMOS said that already there were going to be an additional 2 million people in the population at large who were vaccinated therefore ipso facto there would be 2 million people who were much less likely to get flu.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. In common speech, ‘vaccination’ and ‘immunization’ have a similar meaning. This distinguishes it from inoculation, which uses unweakened live pathogens, although in common usage either is used to refer to an immunization. -,..*

    Have a good day <http://www.healthdigest101.com

    Comment by Rupert Axelsen — 7 Jul 2013 on 7:39 am | Link

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