Flu vaccine withheld9th October 2012
The Department of Health has confirmed that GP surgeries may have to find alternative supplies of the flu vaccine after a manufacturer withdrew its supply for safety reasons.
Manufacturer Crucell, which is responsible for around a tenth of the flu vaccines in the UK, stopped its supply after identifying issues with two batches.
The global company has not recalled any stocks of the vaccine that have already been sent out and said the halt of supply was a temporary measure while it carried out tests.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: "We are aware of some unexpected delays to one supplier's deliveries of the flu vaccine and advise GP practices to contact alternative suppliers if they are having problems."
Flu jabs are given free to people in at-risk groups in the UK, including health workers, over-65s, pregnant women, carers and people in care homes, and people with health conditions such as diabetes.
Health managers have said they plan to offer the vaccine to children aged from two to 17 every year.
While GP practices may have to look for alternative supplies of the vaccine, the Department of Health also has a contingency strategy in place.
The DH holds a reserve supply of around 400,000 doses of the vaccine as an "insurance policy".
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