ILKESTON surgeries are down to the last of their supplies of flu vaccines after it was announced last week that about half of the county’s practices had run out.
Many of the town’s surgeries may have to rely on giving out swine flu jabs, left over from the 2009 pandemic, and only to ‘at risk’ patients, such as pregnant women, people with long-term illnesses and over-65s.
A doctor from Littlewick Medical Centre told the Advertiser on Tuesday that the last of its standard flu vaccines – which protect against three strains of flu – were to be administered to patients yesterday (Wednesday).
Dr Karissa Owen, in charge of flu vaccines at the Nottingham Road surgery and at The Dales surgery in West Hallam, said: “There are 500 swine flu jabs left over.
“But the big message we want to get across is book in early for your jab.
“We are doing our best with patients who have left it until the last minute but we need people to be more organised in future.”
Dr Bruce Laurence, deputy director of public health for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “The vaccine is ordered as part of the seasonal flu campaign in October and November and it is not based on a sudden rush afterwards and that is part of the problem.
“If we do run out, we will have to fall back on the basic hygiene principles and people just needing to look after themselves.”
The Old Station Surgery in Heanor Road, Kirk Hallam’s Queen Elizabeth Way surgery and Cotmanhay Medical Centre have 140 shots left between them. Practice manager Jenny Whitehead said that the surgeries are focusing on vaccinating asthmatic patients.
And West Hallam Medical Centre’s practice manager Jason Singh said that the surgery has enough for its patients but is ‘monitoring the situation’.
GPs can now order flu vaccinations from the NHS central stock ordering website ImmForm.
About half of the county’s practices had run out of doses last week, but the Government announced that surgeries can now use the H1N1 swine flu vaccines from last year, which many still have in their fridges.