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200 extra patients vaccinated in 'flu scare

St Mary's Health Centre vaccinated nearly 200 extra islanders against 'flu today.

Staff were informed yesterday that NHS England had made an unprecedented move to allow non-eligible patients the opportunity to have a ‘flu vaccination as the virus has the potential to spread throughout the islands.

Lead Practice Nurse Fran Clark posted on social media: "We’ve had a really busy day at the Health Centre vaccinating nearly 200 local residents. We have a good stock of adult vaccines, which we are able to give thanks to an amazing decision by NHS England to allow us the chance to protect everyone against four 'flu strains, including Aussie 'flu and the subtypes.

"We are currently out of children’s 'flu vaccine but can order according to demand, the first batch due in end of next week."

Today's patients were in addition to those eligible residents who receive their vaccine as a matter of routine. More than 1,000 islanders have been vaccinated against 'flu in total.

Fran told This is Scilly News: "It’s been brilliant, I’m thrilled so many people took the opportunity to have the vaccine. It’s a pretty unusual decision but we are vulnerable and NHS England have reacted accordingly."

Doctor John Garman, lead GP for the Isles of Scilly, said: "On the mainland we're seeing extremely high levels of 'flu, with some patients being quite severely affected. We are already starting to hear about the odd case of 'flu on Scilly, and it is likely that the spread will be quick once it gets a hold in the population.

"We have a number of vaccines left, and would urge anyone who has not had one to contact us at the Health Centre early next week to book in. Those in the more vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or those living with a long-term illness, will get priority and the rest will be on a first-come, first-served basis."

Anyone wishing to have a vaccine is asked to call 422628 to book into the next clinic.

The Health centre issued advice on how to manage and contain ‘flu yesterday.

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