The Flu kills thousands of people in the United Kingdom (UK) every year. Among those in the risk group are poultry workers who are currently being urged to get a free flu shot.
Poultry workers include people who work in areas where poultry are kept for rearing or egg production purposes. If you handle or catch live poultry, you sort eggs in poultry houses, or you slaughter or clean poultry, you are also entitled to the vaccine.
Could There Be A New Flu?
Free flu vaccination is being offered to poultry workers because people who work in close contact with poultry may have a slight risk of catching bird flu if an outbreak occurred. If the bird flu and human flu viruses were to mix, a new flu virus could be made.
A flu vaccination protects against human flu, reducing the risk of the viruses mixing due to a person having both human flu and bird flu at the same time. If this happened, the new virus could be very infectious, but the flu shot will reduce the chances of this occurring.
The chances of this happening are slight, and the Department of Health has made it clear that this is a precautionary measure. It does not mean there is an increased risk of a bird flu outbreak in the United Kingdom (UK)