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Found 6 results
  1. News Article
    GP surgeries are waiting up to a month for supplies of this winter’s flu vaccine amid unprecedented numbers of patients seeking jabs ahead of the second wave of COVID-19, family doctors have said. The Royal College of GPs (RCPG) has written to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, seeking assurances that they will have enough doses of the vaccine to cope with demand. The struggle to get jabs has prompted fears that vulnerable groups, including elderly people and those with underlying conditions, will go unprotected. “We have heard anecdotally that some surgeries are waiting up to a month for replenished supplies of vaccine, which raises concerns that there are significant distribution problems,” Prof Martin Marshall, the RCGP’s chair and a family doctor in London, said in the letter. One GP in Nottingham said there had been “a huge uptake compared to previous years, well over what we anticipated” at their surgery among groups eligible for the free jab, “so supplies ran out quickly”. “The next delivery is several weeks away and there are patients in at-risk groups who are having to wait. We have a patient aged 70 with heart disease who wants the vaccine but we currently have none to give her until the next delivery in mid to late October,” the GP said. Shortages mean that people aged 50 to 64, who are being offered a jab for the first time on the NHS, may have to wait until those with a greater medical need have been immunised first. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 October 2020
  2. News Article
    Having flu and COVID-19 together significantly increases your risk of death, say government scientists who are urging all those at risk of getting or transmitting flu to get the vaccine in the coming weeks and months. The evidence for the double whammy is currently limited and comes mostly from a study with small numbers – 58 people – carried out in the UK during the early phase of the pandemic. “As I understand it, it’s 43% of those with co-infection died compared with 26.9% of those who tested positive for Covid only,” said England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam. These were people who had been hospitalised and had been tested for both viruses, he said, and so were very ill – but the rate of death from Covid alone in the study between January and April was similar to the known rate of Covid hospital mortality generally of around 25% or 26%. "I think it is the relative difference in size of those rates that’s rather more important than the absolute rate,” he said. The study may have been small and they would be doing further studies this season, but the findings tallied with other work that has been done, he said. “If you get both, you are in some serious trouble, and the people who are most likely to get both of these infections may be the very people who can least afford to in terms of their own immune system, or their risk for serious outcomes. So please protect yourself against flu, this year,” says said Prof Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England The government has bought 30,000,000 doses of flu vaccine, which is more than ever before. They will arrive in batches, so the elderly – over 65 – and those with medical conditions will be called for immunisation first. Relatives of those who are on the shielding list will also be called up. The letters will begin to go out this week. Because of the threat of Covid and the risk that people with flu could be infected if admitted to hospital, all those aged 50-64 will be offered flu vaccination, but not straight away. They should wait to be called by their GP. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 September 2020
  3. News Article
    An 'expanded workforce' will be delivering flu and a potential COVID-19 vaccine, under proposals unveiled by the Government today. The three-week consultation also focuses on a proposal of mass vaccinations against COVID-19 using a yet-to-be-licensed vaccine, if one becomes available this year. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is hoping new legislation could come into effect by October, ahead of the winter season. The consultation proposes to amend the Human Medicine Regulations 2012 to "expand the workforce legally allowed to administer vaccines under NHS and local authority occupational health schemes, so that additional healthcare professionals in the occupational health workforce will be able to administer vaccines". It said this would include 'midwives, nursing associates, operating department practitioners, paramedics, physiotherapists and pharmacists'. The consultation said: "This will help ensure we have the workforce needed to deliver a mass COVID-19 vaccination programme, in addition to delivery of an upscaled influenza programme, in the autumn." The consultation also said that "there is a possibility that both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered at the same time, and we need to make sure that in this scenario there is sufficient workforce to allow for this". Read full story Source: Pulse, 28 August 2020
  4. News Article
    Pharmacies are warning people are at risk of not getting the flu jab unless an urgent decision is made over the winter vaccination programme. The Company Chemists’ Association, which represents large pharmacy groups, told HSJ the government and NHS England need to “urgently” clarify how many people it wants vaccinated for flu this year, as well as making changes to regulations. An expanded and successful winter vaccine programme is seen as key to avoiding potentially catastrophic demand for hospital beds, with flu demand coinciding with covid-19 surges. Malcolm Harrison, chief executive, said: “We need decisions made now. We have an ongoing dialogue with NHS England but they seem to be waiting on secretary of state’s decision on which groups need vaccinating. That is something [the health secretary, Matt Hancock] needs to make a decision about very, very soon.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 10 July 2020
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