2-Week Flu Shot Delay in the UK
Medical practices in England are facing up to 2-weeks of delay in receiving influenza vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season in the Northern Hemisphere.
According to an alert from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on September 27, 2019, the flu shot manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur said ‘it had experienced an unexpected delay at its main manufacturing plant in France.’
This inventory shortage relates to Sanofi Pasteur’s quadrivalent non-adjuvanted vaccine for at risk-groups, between 16 to 65 years of age.
Furthermore, Sanofi said around 40 percent of the first deliveries of the influenza vaccine would be delayed by one to two weeks.
The BMJ says ‘Sanofi Pasteur supplies around a third of the 3 million flu vaccines administered in England each year.’
The flu season can start as early as October in the UK, which is why people often get their flu vaccine in September. Influenza cases usually reach a peak around January and February most years.
In the UK, the national flu program aims to provide direct protection to those who are at higher risk of flu-associated morbidity and mortality. Groups eligible for flu vaccination are based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and include older people, pregnant women, and those with certain underlying medical conditions.
A pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies in the UK.
Recently, PHE announced a new 5-year infectious disease strategy to address urgent current and future threats to human health.
This new strategy published on September 11, 2019, seeks to strengthen the ‘PHE’s ability to prevent, detect, respond to and reduce the impact of infectious diseases.’
And, the PHE intends to ‘integrate innovative new diagnostic technologies and world-class surveillance systems, to implement unrivaled infection prevention and control capabilities within our changing world.’
England's annual data on coverage achieved by the childhood immunization program, as of September 27, 2019, is available at this webpage.
The latest developments in vaccines, vaccination policies and procedures for immunization practitioners can be found at Public Health England.
Influenza vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations