Winifred Robinson tracks the plans that have been put in place to protect us from a swine flu pandemic, following members of the Health Protection Agency as they roll out the vaccination programme.
It is a massive undertaking, and problems abound. The difficulties range from a world shortage of vaccine supply to identifying those most at risk and persuading them that the vaccine is safe to take. GP surgeries have already encountered difficulties storing the vaccine and nationwide delivery is likely to prove a challenge.
The programme goes behind the scenes of the Agency as it addresses all these issues, and the stakes are high. Behind this planning is the fear that a second wave of swine flu cases will put enormous pressure on NHS resources through staff absence and hospital admissions. This massive vaccination programme offers a chance to reduce the likelihood of this - as long as the problems can be worked through.
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