3 October 2006
UK Winter Flu jabs: Don't phone us - we'll contact you ...
A delay in the delivery of this year’s flu vaccine
means that patients at risk from winter flu could help their GP practices
by waiting to hear from their family doctor surgery about immunisation
plans, rather than phone up the practice to inquire. This suggestion
comes today (Monday 2 October) from the BMA.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee, said:
" The Department of Health, England, has warned that while
there will be no shortage of this year’s winter flu vaccine in
the long term, there will be delay in getting adequate supplies to
Late delivery of vaccines means immunisation clinics will in many areas
start later than normal. While most practices should get supplies in
October and November, we have heard of some practices having to wait
_ It will be quite a challenge for
surgeries to immunise all their at risk patients before the winter
flu season sets in. For some it may
be impossible and we will have to hope for a late onset of the annual
flu outbreak. There certainly won’t be spare supplies to provide
jabs for those not in the at-risk groups.
_ Patients over 65 and others in at
risk groups can help avoid adding to the workload by resisting the
temptation to ring up and ask
when flu jabs will be ready. GPs know who their at-risk patients are
and will contact them when their vaccines supplies are available.
_ It really will help us to carry out
the job of protecting patients from the effects of flu if patients
follow the adage – don’t
ring us, we’ll contact you.”