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Safety concerns lead to flu vaccine shortage
A FLU vaccine shortage has hit three county GP surgeries with one in Worcester the worst affected.
St John’s House Surgery, St John’s, Worcester, was one of the three surgeries affected by the shortages of the Crucell vaccine after the company withheld supplies amid safety concerns over two of its batches.
The two other surgeries have managed to secure alternative supplies, while St John’s House has managed to find half of the vaccines they need so far.
Meanwhile, NHS Worcestershire is working with the surgery to try and secure more supplies of vaccine from an alternative source in time for the next clinic this Saturday.
Sue Lloyd, assistant practice manager, said 500 people were vaccinated on Saturday.
She said she did not know whether the practice would be able to secure enough vaccines for the next clinic.
Mrs Lloyd said: “The problem is with the company we have ordered from. It’s frustrating because we have advertised and have said we are ready to do it. We feel we’re letting patients down.”
Mrs Lloyd advised patients to ring the surgery on Friday to see if the walk-in clinic on Saturday between 9am and 11am would go ahead.
Dr Ash Banerjee, NHS Worc-estershire’s public health consultant, said: “We are aware of some unexpected delays to one supplier’s deliveries of the flu vaccine and advise GP practices to contact alternative suppliers if they are having problems.
“The majority of practices in Worcestershire (there are 68 surgeries) have no problems with vaccine stocks.” Dr Banerjee said that last winter almost half the population deemed to be at most risk from flu did not get the jab.
The NHS in Worcestershire is urging more people with a health condition, such as severe asthma, diabetes or a chest or heart complaint to get their free flu jab.
The NHS was unable to say which other two surgeries are affected.