Flu jab shortage as pharmacies run out

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HIGH-risk patients could be facing a battle to find flu vaccines after the area’s largest pharmacies confirm they have run out of supplies.

Both Boots in Thame and Lloyds Pharmacy in Chinnor have no stocks left – and even the local GP surgeries have been affected.

The Rycote Practice only has stocks of the swine flu vaccine available, although more seasonal flu vaccines are expected to be making their way to the surgery soon.

The practice has managed to find a new supplier – but fresh stocks of the crucial jab won’t be arriving until next week.

Co-ordinating partner Dot Lister said: “We still have the vaccine which protects against swine flu available should any high risk patients be particularly worried.

“On Wednesday we heard that we have found another supplier and the flu vaccine should be coming some time next week.

“It is a bit premature to book an appointment for this yet, but should they come then we will have enough to treat all those at high risk.”

The high risk category includes people who are older than 65, are pregnant or who suffer from diabetes.

But people anxious to get immunised need not despair, as Haddenham pharmacy J M W Vicray has plenty of vaccine in stock.

It even offering the vaccine to those not at risk, although this can only be done on a Friday.

Owner Yogesh Patel said: “We have still got some, anybody over 18 can come in, they just need to book an appointment with our pharmacist.”

But the advice from Mrs Lister is that anybody who is not considered to be at a risk should leave the vaccine to those who need it more.

She said: “I think the vaccine needs to be given to the people at risk, if the worried well are getting them then there won’t be enough to go around.”

Are you worried about getting a jab for you or a member of your family? Let us know about your experience by emailing james.perkins@jpress.co.uk