AAP

Free swine flu vaccine hits Rocky

AS fears grow about a second and more severe wave of human swine flu, the first Rockhampton people were yesterday vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus.

The free vaccine, which was rolled out across the nation yesterday, is available to anyone.

But health authorities are urging pregnant women, indigenous people and those with chronic disease to be the first to get the jab.

As health staff at Rockhampton Hospital were yesterday vaccinated, local GP Dr Joan Chamberlain urged patients to sign up to a waiting list for the vaccine.

Weeks after the 40th Queensland death linked to the virus, Dr Chamberlain said Central Queenslanders were still being diagnosed with swine flu.

“There are more cases in outlying areas of CQ but we still have cases in Rockhampton,” Dr Chamberlain said.

Central Queensland regional health vaccine co-ordinator Grace Hinder said the vaccine would become available across the entire region over the next 10 days.

Ms Hinder said yesterday there were two swine flu victims in intensive care in Rockhampton, along with another confirmed case in CQ.

She said parents and guardians of infants up to six months old, and children aged 10 and older in special schools were also a high priority for the one-shot (one-dose) vaccine.

“Family, carers and friends of vulnerable people are also encouraged to be vaccinated,” she said.

“Anyone wishing to be vaccinated should see their GP or heath-care provider.”

She said there would be enough of the vaccine to meet the demand in CQ.

The free swine flu vaccine has cost the Commonwealth Government $100 million.

Find out when the vaccine will be available from your GP on 13HEALTH (13 432 584). Visit http://www.health.qld.gov.au/swineflu.

SWINE FLU JAB

• The new swine flu vaccine is being rolled out across CQ over the next 10 days.

• The vaccination is free, but a consultation fee may be charged.

• It will become available at your local GP or health care provider.

• Health authorities are urging pregnant women, indigenous people and those with chronic disease to be the first to get the jab.


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