Public health professionals in North Yorkshire are urging people who work with poultry to get their free flu vaccine from their GP. NHS North Yorkshire and York is making the seasonal flu vaccination free to those who work in close contact with poultry.-snip-
“Working in close contact with poultry means that there is a slight risk of catching the virus that causes bird flu if an outbreak of bird flu were to occur. If poultry workers are also infected with human flu at the same time, the bird and human flu viruses could mix in the body to make a new flu virus.
“A new flu virus produced in this way could potentially be very infectious and cause serious illness in other people as they would not have any immunity to a new virus. “As poultry workers are considered ‘at risk’, we are making the seasonal flu vaccine freely available from GP practices. Therefore I would encourage all poultry workers in North Yorkshire to get the vaccine.
“The flu vaccine will protect against ordinary human flu - reducing the risk of a new virus emerging. The vaccine will not protect against bird flu and we strongly advise poultry workers to continue to follow infection control guidance in the work place.”
NHS North Yorkshire and York has negotiated a Local Enhanced Service (LES) with the North Yorkshire Local Medical Committee (YORLMC) for GPs to offer the seasonal influenza vaccine to poultry workers who work at poultry premises registered with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).