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Swine flu jab given to one million

The threat of swine flu has seen more than a million people at high risk of catching the virus vaccinated, government estimates reveal.

In England alone the figure is thought to be about a million and thousands more in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have received their jab in the first month of the programme.

To begin with, GPs are vaccinating people in at risk categories - such as those with asthma, heart disease and diabetes - before moving on to children under the age of five.

Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer for England, said the one million figure did not include healthcare workers, who have also been having the vaccine.

The news comes as the number of people catching swine flu in England appears to be falling. There were an estimated 46,000 new cases in the last week, down from 53,000 the week before.

There has also been a drop in the number of people in hospital with the flu, from 783 to 753. A total of 154 of those currently in hospital are in intensive care.

The number of deaths counted in a single week is at its highest, however, with 21 deaths confirmed in England over the last seven days.

The number of deaths in England now stands at 163, up from 142, and the UK total stands at 242, up from 214.

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Department of Health