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As Winter Looms, We Now Face National Shortage of Vital Flu Vaccine

Published on: 1 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 2 Oct, 2020

By Hugh Coakley

Some GP surgeries and pharmacies have no winter flu vaccines left and people are being told their earliest date for an appointment is November.

The flu line and website at St Luke’s Surgery in Warren Road states: “All of our stock of flu vaccines has been allocated and we no longer have any appointments in the drive-through and walk-in clinics. We will try to keep everyone updated via the website & text/letter should we be allocated any more supplies.

“We suggest you contact your local pharmacy who may be able to offer you a vaccination.”

Surgery staff said it was a national shortage.

Guildowns Group Practice flu vaccination programme is continuing

But the Guildowns Group Practice said their walk-in clinics on October 3, 10 and 17 were continuing.

Newspaper reports say the shortage is being caused by a surge in demand as the government aims to get “30 million people vaccinated to ease the strain on the NHS during a second peak of the pandemic“.

High street pharmacies, Boots and Lloyds, had suspended bookings for those aged 65 and over, with waiting lists at some GP surgeries stretching for several weeks.

Staff at the Guildford Chemist on the Worplesdon Road and Superdrug in the town centre said they did not have any vaccine. Superdrug was taking appointments now for a date in November.

A letter from the Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty and Public Health England to GPs, pharmacies and the NHS on August 5, said: “This year, more than ever, we need to protect those most at risk from flu.”

The letter details priority categories including children between two and 11, those over 65, people in clinical risk groups, pregnant women, care homes and frontline health and social care workers.

It states: “In light of the risk of flu and Covid-19 co-circulating this winter, the national flu immunisation programme will be absolutely essential to protecting vulnerable people and supporting the resilience of the health and care system.

“As indicated in our letter of May 14, providers should focus on achieving maximum uptake of the flu vaccine in existing eligible groups, as they are most at risk from flu or, in the case of children, transmission to other members of the community.”


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Responses to As Winter Looms, We Now Face National Shortage of Vital Flu Vaccine

  1. Winifred Paine Reply

    October 1, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    I am 90 and disabled my local GP told me to go to Blackbush Airport if I wanted a flu jab.

  2. Charles Alfred King Reply

    November 16, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    There is much talk about a Covid-19 vaccine being available soon yet as a near 90-year-old flat-bound diabetic with heart problems etc. I have still not had my regular flu jab although I am on the list I’ve been told.

    They say everything is being done to protect the elderly yes from Covid, but sadly we are dying from other causes, many of which are avoidable. Maybe we are just expendable? It certainly feels like it at times.

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