Welders urged to take £30 vaccine

Professor of Occupational Medicine, Keith Palmer claims that a £30 vaccine should be given to welders to prevent serious lung diseases and possibly save their lives.

The professor, who works for the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in the University of Southampton, said:“Many employers are unaware that exposure to welding fume can cause pneumonia.

“Although fatal cases are rare, they can occur. Companies need to ensure that anyone undertakes welding work or is exposed to metal fumes is offered the vaccination.

“They also need to advise workers how to reduce their exposure to the fumes as much as possible and encourage them to not smoke.”

It has been claimed that the chance of suffering from Pneumococcal pneumonia is 6 times more likely for welders.

Dr Richard Heron, President of the Society of Occupational Medicine said: “This is an important message – a £30 jab may save a life.

“There are probably between 50,000 and 70,000 welders in the UK who stand to gain. The review explains that the benefit of providing vaccinations is likely to be comparable to that of taking aspirin for a year to prevent a heart attack or cardiac death.

“At the same time, we should always remember that prevention is better than cure – vaccination is not a substitute for good control of workplace exposure.”

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