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Paradigm Shift Intervention Monitoring
Doctors have run out of flu jabs amid
one of the worst outbreaks of the illness in more than a decade.
Many surgeries failed to order sufficient doses earlier this winter and some admit they have no idea when extra supplies will arrive.
Pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes are being refused appointments or told to call back in a few weeks. Doctors have been urging these high-risk cases to come in for jabs.
The above comments confirm the shortage of vaccine in the UK, which adds to the concerns relating to a health care delivery failure. This shortage helped explain the emphasis on vaccination of “at risk” patients when half of the severe and fatal cases do not have underlying conditions. This shortage would also explain the decision to not launch an under 5’s vaccination campaign amid increasing deaths, ECMO shotages, and Tamiflu resistance.
Media reports have suggested the peak of the flu season will be reached in a week or two, but such expectations are largely based on wishful thinking. Although the number of cases has exploded in recent weeks, many areas, including London, have only recently seen a dramatic jump in cases, which began a few weeks ago in the midlands. Moreover, flu season traditionally peaks in February, so the support for an early end to the flu season is lacking.
The above comments reflect the effects of a more virulent and recombinant H1N1 which has increased severe cases to 738 from 460 a week ago. These levels are strikingly higher than the peak for last season of 180, which has contributed to the strain on health care delivery.
Hospitals have been placed on red and black alerts, which have created a health care crisis that is still in its early stages. The re-opening of GP offices next week, as well as the return to school, will generate more pressure on an over-taxed health care system.
This failure to prepare for the current outbreak is linked to the ill advised decision to declare an end to the pandemic phase, which reduced vaccine uptake and significantly impacted pandemic preparedness.
The current crisis in the UK will undoubtedly spread to the rest of Europe in the upcoming weeks.