Call to tackle flu vaccine shortage in North Wales

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has called on the Welsh Government to tackle the current shortage of the flu vaccine in North Wales.

Darren raised the issue with the Health Secretary in the Senedd this week, and also asked what action he is taking to boost the vaccination rates among front-line NHS workers.

He said:  

“Older people and other vulnerable groups are encouraged to undertake the offer of a flu vaccine each winter. There's been considerable concern in North Wales about a shortage of the vaccine across the region, including in my own constituency of Clwyd West. Do you accept that that shortage could potentially put the lives of vulnerable people at risk?

“Also what are you doing to drive up the vaccination rates amongst front-line NHS workers, where there are a significant proportion of whom do not have these jabs every year and could be putting patients at risk?”

In his response the Health Secretary assured Darren the shortage issue is being addressed.

He said: “We're now in a position where we can be confident that all of that supply will be available for the end of this month, November, and it's being phased in its roll-out. The manufacturers acknowledge some of the challenges they've had in doing so, but of course we're learning lessons this season, not just at the end of it, and I'm confident, as I think every other UK country is too, there is going to be adequate supply of that vaccine both in GPs and in community pharmacies to actually have a proper uptake of our most vulnerable citizens, and, this year, a more effective vaccine for over-65s as well.”