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Vaccination sees H1N1 cases fall

The rate of swine flu infection has fallen by around 9,000 cases in the last week, Department of Health figures report.

Around 53,000 people fell foul of the virus in the last seven days - down from 64,000 the week before.

The total number of deaths caused by H1N1 in the UK now stands at 214 - 142 in England, 38 in Scotland, 21 in Wales and 13 in Northern Ireland.

England's Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson said it was too early to say if the swine flu pandemic had peaked, adding that herd immunity among young people could be bringing the figures down.

The newly rolled-out vaccination programme could also be having an effect on the figures, he said.

He defended the government's vaccination programme in light of the relatively low numbers of new cases.

"Patients are dying, parents around the country are standing by intensive care beds with their children in life or death situations, so when we have got the weapons to deal with it I think we should use them," he said.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Department of Health