Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Addicts may get flu drug first

JUNKIES may get the swine flu vaccine first under plans being studied by the Government.

Heroin addicts who have registered for methadone could be among those considered vulnerable, because their immune systems are weak.

The official in charge of the government's response to the looming crisis delivered the shock news to a parliamentary committee.

Professor Linsey Davies - director of Pandemic Influenza Preparedness - was asked about what priority would be given to junkies by the Lords science and technology committee.

He said: "We are encouraging, through the guidance, every local NHS organisation to look carefully at these vulnerable people - and all those with long-term conditions come into that.

"The Cabinet Office has recently produced guidance on vulnerable people in emergencies generally, but we are working on something more specific for people with health issues."

A department of health spokesman insisted the "vulnerable" list had not yet been decided on.

Meanwhile the world's top flu expert has warned against the dangers of fast-tracking vaccines without proper checks.


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