Derry vaccine expert Dr. Maurice O’Kane urges ‘flu jab uptake with 30,000 UK deaths each winter

A leading Derry-based expert has urged people to get vaccinated against ‘flu as soon as possible this winter reminding people that 30,000 people in the United Kingdom die every year from the virus.

The Western Trust’s Consultant Chemical Pathologist, Dr. Maurice O’Kane, has appealed to everyone to bring their vaccines up to date, insisting that vaccines are a safe and trusted way to protect yourself this winter.

Dr. O’Kane is one of the country’s leading experts on vaccinations. He is urging eligible members of the public to step forward for both their annual ‘flu jab and COVID autumn booster.

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“We are all very aware of the dangers of COVID, but we can sometimes forget that the ‘flu can cause serious illness also. Each year in the UK, over 30,000 people die of ‘flu.

Dr. Maurice O'Kane

“This year we have a particular concern about ‘flu. Because of the COVID restrictions which have been in place over the past two to three years, there has been much less 'flu circulating, and so immunity in the population is low. Therefore this year we are particularly vulnerable to ‘flu.

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"The more of us who get vaccinated, the greater the protection afforded to everyone. Getting your COVID and ‘flu vaccinations might be the most important thing you do today, and it could save someone’s life.”

Vaccine clinics are being held at Altnagelvin, Omagh Hospital and South-West Acute Hospital until December 16, and are open to staff and the public.

30,000 people die each year from 'flu in the UK.

Online booking is available but not required. Walk ins are accepted.

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You can choose to have your COVID booster and 'flu vaccines separately or combined on your visit.