'˜Flu vaccine will be available for Luton's over 65s'
Luton and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are allaying fears about flu vaccine shortages for the over 65s.
Recently, readers contacted the Herald&Post claiming that town pharmacies and GP surgeries were running low on stock.
One reader alleged: “A lot of Luton people are going to be upset at not being able to have a flu jab because there is a shortage of the medication.”
However, Dr Nina Pearson, local GP and Clinical Chair for Luton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “For the first time this year, the guidance is that people aged over 65 should only be offered a particular version of the flu vaccine, because it is more effective for them.
“There is only one manufacturer of this vaccine and delivery of it is being co-ordinated nationally. Practices and pharmacies are receiving it in phases – 40 per cent in September, 20 per cent in October and 40 per cent in late October/early November.
“This means that not everyone aged 65+ can get their flu vaccine as early in the autumn as previously. However, enough vaccines are being produced and there is plenty of time for people to be protected ahead of winter. Book at the earliest opportunity”.
A Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group spokeswoman, said: “A new flu vaccine for over 65s (trivalent) is being issued to GPs and pharmacies this year in a phased approach and NHS England and Public Health England have confirmed that more supplies will be delivered in the coming weeks.
“Because the over 65’s vaccine is being delivered in phases, many practices have prioritised the initial supply for their older and more frail patients.
“The flu vaccine for people under the age of 65 is widely available.”