Flu jab shortage across UK as coronavirus demand risks elderly missing out

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High street pharmacies Boots and Lloyds have had to suspend flu jab bookings for over-65s because of a shortage, despite health chiefs warning vaccines are vital for the battle against Covid-19.

Tens of thousands of vulnerable people are unable to get the flu vaccine with surgeries running out due to huge demand.

It's believed the demand is 10 times higher than last year after the first wave of jabs were rolled out.

Public Health England (PHE) has said people are twice as likely to die if they contract coronavirus and winter flu at the same time, reports Mirror Online.

PHE are aiming to immunise 30 million people this winter, with the over-50s entitled to a flu vaccination for the first time.

Greg Clark, chairman of the Commons science committee, said: "Suppressing the flu helps fight Covid by reducing the number of people with Covid-like symptoms who would need to isolate and be tested.

"And by reducing the severity of the impact on those who do get Covid."

Dr George Kassianos, vaccination spokesman for the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: "From the middle of December we usually see the influenza case rate rising – it then peaks in January or February before coming down.

"It is essential at-risk groups are vaccinated in September, October or November."

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Pam Scott, 73, was among those who were turned away at the weekend, despite having an appointment at the Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus with her husband.

Mrs Scott said: "We turned up at 3.50pm and the road was blocked, and they just said 'You can't come in,' and they didn't say why, and they didn't say they would have more space tomorrow.

"They didn't give any reason, we didn't know if they had run out of the vaccine, or if there was some other problem, they didn't say anything."

  • Boots
  • Coronavirus
  • NHS

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