Surgery cancels flu jabs after power cut ruins vaccines

Aldborough Surgery. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY


Hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people could miss out on a potentially life-saving flu jab after a surgery’s stock of vaccines was damaged in a power cut.

Aldborough Surgery, near Aylsham, announced on its website that it could not vaccinate over-65s because the vaccines had to be destroyed following the damage, and they could not get any replacements.

The surgery has not said how many patients have affected, but the most recent Care Quality Commission report revealed 3,400 patients were registered there, and that the practice had “a larger number of patients aged 50 to 84 compared to the national average”.

The surgery said: “Unfortunately, Aldborough Surgery will be unable to provide patients with their over-65 flu vaccine this year and will need to cancel any appointments already booked.

“The vaccines are required to be stored in a medical fridge at a set temperature which is designated by the manufacturer. However, due to severe weather conditions on the weekend of the 26th September this resulted in the surgery being without electric power for 41 hours.”

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They said because of the power cut, the vaccines, which were stored in a medical fridge, were not kept at the correct temperature for “a long period of time”.

The surgery added: “It was confirmed by the manufacturer of the vaccines that the flu vaccines should not be used. We have tried to source a further supply of flu vaccines but sadly we were not able to secure any further stock.

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“As a consequence, the flu clinic arranged for the 10th October and any other flu vaccine appointments have been cancelled. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

One patient, who did not want to be named, said he was “amazed” the surgery had not been informed of the outage in time to save the vaccines.

The patient, in his 60s, said he and others would face a battle to get the flu jab somewhere else. He said: “Now I will have wait with all the rest of the patients in a never-ending queue at the local pharmacy just because of their inefficiency”.

Aldborough Surgery has been approached for more details.

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