Posted: Mon 4th Nov 2019

Supply issue sees flu vaccine for primary school children aged 4-10 in Wales delayed

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Nov 4th, 2019


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A free flu vaccine programme for primary school children aged 4-10 in Wales has been delayed due to a supply issue.

The Welsh Government says it has been informed by Public Health England – which is responsible for procuring the vaccines on behalf of the UK – there will be a delay to some deliveries of the nasal spray vaccine used in for children’s flu vaccination.

The delay is set to affect deliveries due to be received during November and “relates to issues around routine testing by the manufacturer and is not related to the safety of efficacy of the vaccine” Health Minister Vaughan Gething said.

With no alternative supplier of vaccine available, the Chief Medical Officer has written to health boards asking them to re-prioritise vaccination in primary care of children, those aged 2 and 3 years and aged 2 to 17 years in a clinical risk group (including those who would normally receive a vaccine in school).

Over 80,000 doses of vaccine had already been received by health boards for the school programme by the half term break – this is sufficient for 46% of the total number of children vaccinated last year in schools.

The Welsh Government “anticipates” the full allocation of vaccines for Wales will be received over the course of the season, and that the school programme will recommence “as soon as sufficient supplies are available.”

Health boards which have vaccines already available in pharmacies will continue an ongoing school programme for as long as is possible, or use the stock to support general practices.

Mr Gething said: “Flu doesn’t tend to start to circulate until mid-December but I appreciate that any delays in receiving the vaccine are worrying. If a suitable vaccine is not available at GP surgeries, individuals in at-risk groups should consider having the vaccine at a local pharmacy that offers the NHS flu vaccination service.

I acknowledge the impact that disruption to vaccine supplies has on delivering the flu vaccination campaign.  I am grateful  for the support of general practice staff, the school nursing service and other NHS staff during this challenging period.”

 

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