ELEVEN more people have died from flu across the UK taking the total to 50 The Health Protection Agency said yesterday that, of these, 45 died due to swine flu and the other five with another strain – flu type B.

The figures were released as it was announced that old vaccines left over from the swine flu pandemic will be used to plug the shortfall in this winter’s supplies.

The Government made the announcement amid reports that GPs in some parts of the country were running out of jabs.

Officials said doctors could have access to the 12m stockpile of vaccines from 2009 immediately.

The vaccine is different from the jab being offered this year and it offers protection against just one of the three strains, but as swine flu is the dominant strain in circulation the Government said it was the best option available.

The 50 deaths were mostly among children and young adults, with five cases in the under-fives and eight cases among those aged five to 14.

Another 33 cases are in people aged 15 to 64.

The figures come as some hospitals have been told to cancel operations to make way for the most seriously ill flu patients.

The NHS is preparing to expand the number of beds available for a highly specialised treatment, which is often seen as a last resort.

Extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) helps patients whose lungs or heart are not working normally and uses an artificial lung to oxygenate blood outside the body.

The main ECMO centre is based at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester but seven UK hospitals in total are currently running ECMO beds.

As of Christmas Eve, 22 ECMO beds were in use across UK, up from five in early December.