Flu Vaccination programme - Over 65
8 November 2018
Flu Vaccination programme
Statement on Plans for those over 65 years of age.
As many patients may be aware we have had a struggle this year to obtain enough of the special vaccine that has been prepared for those over the age of 65yrs. As a consequence we were very sorry to have to turn away a good number in this age group at our recent flu clinic. You may have heard Dr Liley talking on the Radio about the national problems that GPs have experienced and explaining how this has come about. The main difficulty has been that this year there have been two vaccines and the one for over 65s has been difficult to obtain.
Our records suggest more patients have been attending than in previous years to be vaccinated. Whilst this is good in certain respects it has exacerbated the challenges in delivering the programme.
We have now received a further batch of 300 vaccines and have discussed as a practice how to administer this. We have had to make some difficult decisions about how we prioritise which patients should be invited first to receive a vaccination.
We have identified a group of around 300 patients who have chosen to be vaccinated in previous years and who on the basis of their age and other health problems would most benefit. These patients will receive a letter inviting them to attend a new drop in clinic.
We apologise if you do not receive a letter and feel disappointed by this.
If this is the case the following options are available to you.
- Consider getting vaccinated at a local chemist or other provider (ie some of the larger supermarkets are doing this). We should stress these centres are also struggling to locate sufficient supplies. You will need to provide evidence of your chronic disease or age (if >65) to entitle you to receive this free on the NHS.
- Await another batch of 200 vaccines that are hopefully due on 13th November and book in to a pre-booked slot. These slots will be given on a first come first served basis for all those >65 yrs. Patients will have to accept that it is possible that our supplies may run out before their appointment date and we will endeavour to contact people if this is the case.
- If after this we have run out of vaccine there is the option of being vaccinated with the ‘standard’ injection that we are giving to those under 65 years. This strategy has been advised by Public Health England as acceptable practice in ‘exceptional circumstances’ which we now feel we have reached. You should be clear that it is possible that this may be less effective for you than the intended vaccine.
Should you wish to discuss any of this with a GP please do call and request a telephone consultation with the duty-doctor.
We apologise again for the troubles we have had and thank you for your co-operation in this regard.
Drs Gill Scott, Rob Liley, Chris Maden and Pippa Rutter