Pandemic flu tourist vaccination
November 19, 2009 5:58 AM   Subscribe

Which European countries currently provide or are planning to provide flu shots (H1N1 strain) openly, without invitation letters or national health insurance?

I live in Poland and here, the authorities have not bought *any* vaccine. I am willing to pay for the vaccination.
posted by rom1 to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Sorry, UK it's priority groups only, and through the NHS only (so you can't just go and get the vaccine from a private doctor).

The vaccine situation in Poland is horrible and you have my sympathy.
posted by Coobeastie at 6:33 AM on November 19, 2009

Likewise in France, I'm afraid - you have to receive an invitation letter (they're sending them to everyone enrolled in the national health program; they ordered enough vaccine for everyone) and you have to go to a specific vaccination dispensary. As is being hotly debated by everyone here, general practitioners cannot give the vaccine. (If curious, Info pandémie grippale is the French Health Ministry's page on it.)

Sorry to hear that the Polish PM refuses to buy any on the basis of "lack of testing" - as the French Ministry of Health is going to great pains to explain to French people who have the same doubts, it's been developed and tested the same way, and in the same amount of time, as "regular" virus vaccines are every year.
posted by fraula at 6:55 AM on November 19, 2009 "regular" flu virus vaccines, woops.
posted by fraula at 6:56 AM on November 19, 2009

I'm not a doctor, nor do I work for the German health care system.

Germany ordered more flu shots than are probably needed if you believe surveys because not many people are planning to get the vaccination. Last month only people at risk (working in health care etc.) could receive them, but now vaccinations are open to anyone. Not all doctors do swine flu shots though, you can find information on where to get the vaccine online, depending on the state.

Look it up here: Information zur neuen Grippe, available in other languages too (English, Russian, some info in Polish as well).

Depending on the state, the vaccination is given at a Gesundheitsamt (public health department, local health authority?) or at regular doctor's offices, though not every doctor seems to do them. Call before you go to make sure. Many doctor's offices have waiting lists, since one vial of vaccination is enough for ten people, so they try to vaccinate 10, 20, 30, ... people per day.

AFAIK you can go to (almost) any doctor in Germany for any reason and just pay cash if you don't have insurance. I don't know how much the vaccination costs, though, as it is mandatory for most Germans to have health care and for the healthcare providers to cover the cost of the vaccination.
posted by amf at 7:22 AM on November 19, 2009

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