The Mayor of Castlebar Councillor Ger Deere has received complaints that local GPs are finding it very difficult to order batches of the seasonal flu vaccines.
There are various reports in the national media reflecting these concerns indicating this is occurring on a much wider scale than just Castlebar. It is also understood that the Health Service Executive has corresponded with GPs informing them that the national supply of flu vaccine is under pressure and there is a need to secure further vaccines, according to Mayor Deere.
The flu vaccine is advised for people with long-term health conditions, people aged 65 years and over, carers of these groups, and healthcare workers. It is important to note that women who are now pregnant should be routinely offered seasonal flu vaccine.
Cllr Deere said: “It is very alarming to meet people who were unable to receive their seasonal flu vaccine. This is causing great distress to them for a number of reasons; firstly, they fear they are unprotected against flu. Secondly, they are making numerous trips to their GP’s surgery in the hope of getting the flu vaccine only to be informed the vaccine remains unavailable. This is only making their worries worse than they already are. I sympathise with patients as well as GPs and their staff for being put in a position where vaccine shortages are causing such distress.”
He continued that the vaccine shortages are a result of restrictions imposed by the HSE and not an action of the GPs.