ANYONE working with poultry in North Yorkshire has been urged to get a free flu vaccine jab from their GP.

There are about 1,000 poultry farms and premises where poultry are kept across the county.

NHS North Yorkshire and York is making the seasonal vaccination free for those who have close contact with poultry.

It includes anyone who:

● spends a lot of time in areas where live poultry are kept for rearing or egg production purposes;

● handles live poultry or catches poultry in poultry houses;

● sorts eggs in hatcheries or poultry houses;

● cleans poultry houses or collects and removes poultry manure or litter from poultry houses

● slaughters poultry and removes the guts and other parts from dead poultry

● cleans and disinfects live bird and evisceration areas in slaughter houses.

Dr Phil Kirby, associate director of public health for NHS North Yorkshire, said close contact with poultry creates a slight risk of catching the virus that causes bird flu if an outbreak were to occur.

Dr Kirby said: “As poultry workers are considered ‘at risk’, we are making the seasonal flu vaccine freely available from GP practices.”

The health body is currently working to all poultry premises registered with DEFRA to advise them of the availability of the vaccine.