Two further swine flu deaths confirmed

Thursday 01 October 2009 20.10
Swine flu - 4 people have died from the virus in Ireland
Swine flu - 4 people have died from the virus in Ireland

Two more people have died from human swine flu in Ireland, the Health Service Executive has confirmed.

Speaking at a briefing this afternoon, the HSE said one woman was from the west of the country and the other from the eastern region.

Both women had underlying medical conditions.

Their deaths bring the total number of swine flu fatalities in the Republic to four.

In August, a young woman with an underlying health condition and a man in his 50s with no apparent underlying condition died.

Meanwhile, the HSE has asked General Practitioners to participate in a national campaign offering the human swine flu vaccine to at-risk patients.

Each GP is being asked to identify all clinical at-risk patients, aged from six-months to 65 years, who should get the vaccine in two doses, at three weeks apart for each dose.

400,000 patients are estimated to be in the at-risk category.

In a letter to the country's GPs today, the HSE has appealed to doctors to participate in this once-off public health measure and they will be paid €10 for each of the two shots required.

The HSE hopes to have an indication next week of the percentage of GPs who are prepared to participate.

One of the vaccines, Pandemerix has now been licensed for use and a limited number of batches will become available next week for administration.