THE Balearic health ministry is waiting for delivery of 40'000 flu jabs, and a spokesman announced that there were still reserves of 6'500 to 7'000 jabs waiting to be distributed to health centres. The announcement came after reports that some health centres had run out of jabs, as more people than usual rushed to be vaccinated, following the bird flu scare. However, the jabs which the health ministry is giving is for the common strain of flu. Health minister Aina Castillo said yesterday that the Balearics had received 125'000 of the 150'000 flu jabs it had requested at the start of the campaign. The remaining 25'000 jabs will be delivered this week, and a further 15'000 jabs have been ordered.
Castillo said that all the people in the groups at risk - children, the over 65s and people with chronic illnesses, particularly respiratory disorders - need not worry, there will be enough vaccines for all of them. She added that the number of over 65s seeking the flu jab had risen by 60 per cent compared to last year, and she hoped that by the end of the campaign which has been extended - the whole of this group will have been vaccinated. The campaign was due to end on November 30, but Castillo said that it would continue until December 15 if necessary.
The central ministry of agriculture, for its part, has sent to all regions, including the Balearics, the full text of a ministerial order which includes specific measures for protection against bird flu. The order will come into force as soon as the Spanish regions give their conformity.
It includes the list of municipalities which fall within the ten kilomotre protection radius of wetlands which have been declared danger areas, where the breeding of poultry in the open air has been banned as a precautionary measure. A ministry spokesman said that informative leaflets and brochures would be distributed to groups and people who because of their professions are in close contact with birds. They include farmers, hunters and environmental agents, as well as vets.
Biosecurity precautions to be adopted in poultry farms, to prevent the risk of contact with migratory birds, will also be handed out.

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