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Government says it has received extra flu vaccines but school dates will be decided by local councils
Parents should not expect to vaccinate their children against flu at school this September.
This after the Department of Health confirmed more than 40 council areas now have vaccination campaigns underway.
Most vaccination campaigns start in September but a few begin as early as February.
The government said it had “glitches” with its vaccines and had received extra flu vaccines – some of which have been allocated to schools.
Primary and secondary school children, up to 16 years old, can now be vaccinated against H3N2 flu.
The next set of school vaccination dates will be announced by the Department of Health later this year.
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There have already been 14 confirmed deaths due to this year’s flu virus and more than 8,000 cases are expected to be reported in England by the end of May.
The H3N2 strain of flu is behind the majority of reported cases. The highest numbers of people being affected by the virus have been in the north-east of England.
Immunisations for all eligible people against swine flu – the virus blamed for the Sars outbreak in 2003 – should start this year.
Senior medical officer for immunisation, Dr Peter Clark, said: “There’s already evidence to show this year’s seasonal influenza virus differs from previous flu seasons. We don’t yet know the exact pattern of vaccine effects for flu, but we expect more illness than in previous years.”