Poultry workers offered flu jab

The Department of Health is for the second year running offering free flu vaccinations to poultry workers, as a precautionary measure against the H5N1 avian flu virus from mutating and gaining the ability to spread between people.

The concern is that there is a small risk that workers with ordinary flu could then come in contact with the H5N1 avian flu virus, allowing them to mix. However, the Department of Health stresses that the risk is small, but this measure further reduces this chance.

Poultry workers, prompted by the recent H5N1 outbreak, can obtain a vaccination by contacting their GP.

It is open to those who:

  • spend a lot of time in areas where poultry are kept
  • handle live poultry
  • catch poultry in poultry houses
  • sort eggs in poultry houses
  • clean poultry houses
  • handle poultry manure
  • slaughter poultry
  • clean and disinfect live bird and evisceration areas in slaughter houses

For more information, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit the Department of Health website.