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Flu jabs for 50 to 64-year-olds should be available in Norfolk from next month

PUBLISHED: 10:05 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:06 15 October 2020

Flu jab stocks for people aged 50 to 64 are due to arrive in Norfolk in November.  Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Flu jab stocks for people aged 50 to 64 are due to arrive in Norfolk in November. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

A group of people who have been told they are eligible for NHS flu jabs will have to wait another month to get them, health bosses have said.

South Norfolk councillor Yvonne Bendle. Picture: South Norfolk CouncilSouth Norfolk councillor Yvonne Bendle. Picture: South Norfolk Council

It comes amid concerns Norfolk people aged 50 to 64 have not been able to get the free jabs, despite the government saying, for the first time, they are eligible.

Health bosses in Norfolk said they have had to prioritise their vaccine stock to those historically been entitled to them - those in the 65 plus category and those with underlying health conditions.

And, at a meeting of the Norfolk and Waveney Health Wellbeing Board meeting this week, concerns were raised over the uncertainty for people in the 50 to 64 group, who have been told the vaccine was not available.

South Norfolk councillor Yvonne Bendle, said: “I am aware, as a councillor, that some people seem to have difficulty accessing flu jabs. It seems to be quite accessible for the vulnerable part of the population.

Melanie Craig, chief officer of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. Pic: Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCGMelanie Craig, chief officer of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. Pic: Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG

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“But, for the more general part of the population asking for flu jabs, I’ve been hearing they’ve been told that there isn’t anything available.”

Melanie Craig, chief officer for Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are prioritising vulnerable groups as the first cohort to be vaccinated - vulnerable groups and the over 65s. That’s the usual cohort who are prioritised.

“The government announced an additional cohort, which is the 50 to 64s this year. There is vaccine supply, which is held at the Department of Health and Social Care, which will be released in November.

“That cohort is deemed to be of lower clinical priority compared to those who are vulnerable groups and the over 65s and so the supplies will be released to general practice in November.

“We have been trying to communicate with the public to ask people not to come forward until they are called.”

Dr Anoop Dehsi, chairman of Norfolk and Waveney CCG said: “The wayflu jabs have been delivered this year has been different. Because of the constraints of distancing and wearing protective equipment, practices have had to adapt.

“So, a number of practices have had drive-in services and there has been a lot of organisation and planning around that, which has had an impact on how patients access their flu jabs.”


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