Flu jabs available at Sheffield medical centres after shortages

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FLU jabs at Sheffield medical centres postponed for nearly a month because of a vaccine shortage are available again - amid concerns of further delays because of a patient backlog.

Beighton, Sothall and Shiregreen Health Centres temporarily suspended their flu clinics, where injections are given to protect people from the virus, following a problem with the suppliers.

Crucell - a pharmaceutical company based in the Netherlands – suspended all deliveries of its vaccine because of an ‘unexpected test result’.

The firm provides 10 per cent of the UK’s flu vaccines, given to pensioners, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

The Sheffield health centres affected by the shortage have now obtained fresh stocks of the vaccine and resumed their flu clinics on Monday.

But one Shiregreen resident said her 75-year-old husband, who suffers from severe lung disease, has been told he must wait at least a week for an appointment because of the backlog of patients eligible for a jab.

“He is supposed to be in the front of the queue,” said the woman, aged 74, who didn’t want to be named.

“It’s made us feel vulnerable. We’re in November now and it’s a bad time, my husband was supposed to have had his jab at the beginning of October.

“I get worried. They’ve got the jab in now but we’re still sat here waiting for it.”

Dr Fiona Day, consultant in public health at NHS Sheffield, said: “The vaccine supply issues have now been rectified and we are working with practices to do everything we can to vaccinate all at risk patients as soon as possible.”

Thousands of patients across the country had their jabs cancelled.

A spokesman for Crucell said supplies were halted ‘voluntarily’ because of safety concerns after an unexpected test result on one batch.