For healthcare professionals only


In brief

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 24 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1224

Flu vaccine shortage hits UK: GPs in parts of England and Wales have reported they have insufficient stocks of this year's influenza vaccine to immunise all their eligible patients (people older than 65 or with a chronic disease). The Department of Health has released a further 400 000 doses on top of the 14 million that GPs bought this year.

Walking improves life expectancy: Brisk walking for half an hour a day can help people aged 50 or older to live up to 3.5 years longer free of heart disease, new research in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows (2005;165: 2355-60, 2362-9). Studies were based on the Framingham Heart Study and the exercise was counselled by a physician.

Blood transfusions to be tracked: About 50 people who have received blood transfusions in the United Kingdom are to be traced and notified of their potential exposure to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). The Department of Health announced in July that blood from 100 donors might carry the vCJD agent when three people developed vCJD after receiving blood from some of these donors.

UN staff evacuated: The United Nations has evacuated international staff from Western Equatoria after the torching of World Health Organization facilities in the state capital of Yambio. Rising interethnic tensions, sparked by competition for land use between local farmers and displaced pastoralists, could threaten reconstruction across southern Sudan.

University to study disease across species: The University of Nottingham Veterinary School, which is due to open next July, has established a chair in comparative medicine, to further the study of comparable diseases in different species. Malcolm Cobb, who has spent eight years in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, has taken up the post.

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