NHS staff aiming to ensure flu jab available to vulnerable

The NHS in Warwickshire is working to rectify problems with the distribution of flu vaccinations around the county.

Unlike some other parts of the country, Warwickshire has ample stocks of the vaccinations but there have been problems with making sure every doctors’ surgery is well supplied.

Seasonal flu continues to be prevalent in the area, with more than 1,000 calls to Warwickshire’s GP out of hours service in the past week from patients with flu-like symptoms and 444 attendances at Coventry’s walk-in centre.

Swine flu numbers have been on the rise in Warwick district over the festive period. There was one death at Warwick Hospital, and three people remain in intensive care with the virus.

Vaccination continues to be a key way of protecting against the illness, but the NHS has admitted that there have been difficulties making jabs available to everyone who needs them.

NHS staff are now working to ensure they are available at GP practices for the over 65s, pregnant women and those in at risk groups such as asthma or diabetes sufferers.

An NHS Warwickshire spokesman said: “We are aware there have been some local supply issues with some GPs.

“We are working to move them around to where the need is. There are stocks but it’s just a case of making sure they are evenly distributed and are available at all the GP surgeries.”

Deputy director of public health for NHS Warwickshire Helen King said: “It’s important that the public are not overly concerned about the spread of flu.

“Figures show that we are above normal seasonal flu levels, but we are not at epidemic levels. For most people, flu lasts for about a week and is best managed at home.”