It’s been billed as the biggest flu vaccination programme in history – the Government’s plan for everyone over the age of 50 to get the jab on the NHS this winter. The aim is to protect 30 million vulnerable Britons – around 10 million more than in previous years – in a bid to avoid a so-called ‘twindemic’ of a bad flu season and a second wave of coronavirus.
The launch of the programme on October 4 was accompanied by a compelling advertising campaign warning that ‘in an average year, flu kills about 11,000 people… and this isn’t an average year’.
First in the queue for the jab were those over 65, pregnant women and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions. And on Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the next phase – with those aged 50 to 64 to be offered a free jab from December 1.
But as the UK enters the most deadly quarter of the year for influenza deaths, it appears the ambitious plan may already be faltering.
Limited supply: Doctors are waiting for more vaccines to arrive. The Government plans for everyone over the age of 50 to get the flu jab on the NHS this winter
Pharmacies and GP surgeries across the country have been unable to get vital supplies of flu vaccines since early October, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.
We have received reports of patients as old as 87 still waiting for a jab, while others who are at high risk of severe flu, including those with diabetes and heart disease, and those who care for disabled children or elderly relatives with dementia, also have not been able to get vaccinated.…