Some pharmacies in England and Wales could see delays of up to two weeks on deliveries o
f flu vaccines because of ‘various logistical issues,’ the supplier Seqirus has said.
This comes as pharmacies across the UK begin delivering the vaccine to local populations.
A spokesperson from Seqirus — the manufacturer currently experiencing the delays — said: ‘Vaccine supplies are beginning to flow out across England and Wales and some practices and pharmacies will be able to begin their vaccination campaigns.
‘We are working through various logistical issues and do not expect delays to extend beyond one to two weeks,’ they added.
People aged 50 to 64 are eligible for a free vaccination again next season, having been included for the first time in 2020 – meaning that 36 million people are now eligible.
Earlier this year, the minister for primary care, Jo Churchill, said that community pharmacies should deliver more flu vaccines this autumn than in 2020/21, while also ‘significantly’ contributing to the Covid booster programme.
Figures from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) show community pharmacies alone vaccinated 2,617,628 during the 2020/21 programme, over one million more than the sector achieved in the entire flu season the year before.
Back in May, The Pharmacist learned that one of the UK’s key suppliers of flu vaccines is anticipating ‘reduced availability’ of QIVe flu vaccine to pharmacy wholesalers this winter.
Sanofi – which supplies vaccines for under 65s and at-risk groups – said that this was due to ‘an increase in global demand’, following recent cohort announcements for the 2021/22 season.