As many of you will have seen, especially with the Scottish Government press release on 22nd October, there are currently delays in being able to provide the intranasal flu vaccine for children this year.
The delay is happening UK wide and is happening at the manufacturing level.
Scotland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said:
“We have been exploring how to best use the available stock based on evidence and clinical advice, and I have written to Health Protection Scotland and NHS Board Coordinators asking them to prioritise children with eligible health conditions and the two to five-year-old programme, similar to other parts of the UK.
“The school vaccination programme is currently continuing as normal. However, should there be the expected disruption to supply, it could lead to vaccinations in some primary schools being rescheduled.
“NHS Board areas are currently working to do that based on the projections we are receiving on the revised delivery schedule. Whilst this is unfortunate, it is completely outwith our control and we would continue to urge eligible people to be vaccinated as we know this is the best way to protect against the flu.
“This does not impact the adult flu programme.”
All General Practices have been directed to prioritise the small supply of intranasal vaccine that has so far been delivered to those children with eligible health conditions, such as respiratory disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc. We are attempting to contact those families at the moment.
At present we don’t know when the next supply of vaccine will be made available to us, but provided there are no more problems current projections indicate it could be sometime mid-late November.
We understand and share the frustration of all families registered with us at this situation and ask for your patience and understanding when we have to disappoint those trying to phone to book an appointment for their child to be vaccinated. Our Patient Services team have been given strict guidelines they have to follow with who they are allowed to book in. These guidelines have been passed down from the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, and approved by the clinical team here at the Practice.
At the moment we ask families with children WITHOUT eligible health conditions NOT to phone in asking if appointments are available, but instead to keep an eye on this website. As soon as we get a larger supply of the intranasal vaccine, and we have appointments available to book, we will post a news article to let families know.
Thank you again for your understanding during this frustrating situation.