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Flu vaccination programme extended

Children aged between six months and five years in Wales have started getting swine flu jabs.

Parents are being invited to bring about 170,000 children to GP surgeries during the second phase of the nationwide vaccination programme.

Youngsters in the age group are more likely to end up in hospital if they catch the virus.

The move comes after figures showed the number of people visiting their doctors with flu symptoms has stabilised.

The current level of flu in Wales is now lower than normal for the time of year, with GPs diagnosing around 9.75 cases of flu-like illness for every 100,000 people.

The most recent figures showed 28 swine flu-related deaths in Wales since the outbreak began.

Despite the falling infection rate, health officials have encouraged anyone invited to receive a jab to take up the offer.

Vaccinations began in the autumn for pregnant women, people with chronic conditions and people with weakened immune systems and their close contacts.

More than 250,000 doses of vaccine have been administered by doctors and 38,000 health and social care staff have been vaccinated.