Why you might be asked to wait for your flu vaccine

Published: 24 October 2020

Hand holding syringe and vaccine

People who are most at risk of flu are encouraged to have a flu vaccine every winter. This year it is especially important as we prepare for increases in not only flu, but coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.

The flu vaccine is delivered to GP practices, pharmacies and other services in batches. Regular deliveries are scheduled across the season to support safe storage arrangements. This year, early demand for flu vaccine has been higher than usual and some people have not been able to get vaccinated straight away.

There are several types of flu vaccines available depending on age and individual circumstances. This means that some people will be offered a flu vaccine without a delay while others, who need a different type of vaccine, may be asked to wait until a suitable vaccine is available.

Vaccine availability is monitored closely, and supplies will be prioritised to vaccinate those who are most at risk from flu first. This includes people of all ages who have a health condition that makes them more at risk from flu.

Please be mindful that your GP, pharmacist or midwife will ensure you have access to the vaccine that is right for you and we would encourage you to be patient when following their advice.

For 50 to 64-year olds, who do not have a health condition that puts them at risk from flu, you will be offered the vaccine later on and should wait to be invited for a vaccination. If your circumstances change, and you believe that you meet other risk criteria, please contact your GP surgery or pharmacist for further advice.

Frontline health and social care workers, directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients or clients who are at increased risk from exposure to flu, are likely be encouraged to contact their employer or occupational health service in the first instance.

Further information about accessing the flu vaccine this winter is available in the supporting leaflet. National estimates suggest 30 million people in England will be eligible to have a free vaccine on the NHS. To find out more please refer to the NHS website.

Residents in Derby can also contact Derby Direct for further support. Similarly, if you are cold, hungry or struggling then please contact the team on 01332 640000. Lines are open weekdays between 9.00am and 5.00pm. A text service is available for the deaf community on 07774333412.

Dr Robyn Dewis, Director of Public Health, Derby City Council, said:

It is reassuring that so many of us are coming forward for the flu vaccine this winter. Whilst we should not be worried if we are asked to wait, it is important that we remember to follow-up and attend our vaccine appointment when we can. The latest information suggests that there is enough flu vaccine for at risk groups to get vaccinated before the flu season starts, usually in December. In the meantime, we should follow the advice we are given by our GP, pharmacist or midwife and that we refer to trusted sources of information such as the NHS.

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