20 December 2023
Harriett Calls for Under 65 Vaccine Supply Review

West Worcestershire Harriett Baldwin has called for a review into the supply of Covid and influenza vaccines for those under 65 as the NHS prepares to deal with the annual winter pressures.

The MP has written to the local health chiefs and Boots the Chemists after receiving reports of vaccine shortages in Upton-upon-Severn for those willing to pay for a vaccination.

Harriett discussed the matter with pharmacists in the town and has passed on concerns directly to the managing director of the high street retailer.

Each year people aged over 65, and those people with specific health conditions, are able to get a free flu jab and those under 65 are able to pay for a jab at their local pharmacy if they wish.

This winter, the same group of people are encouraged to get a seasonal Covid vaccination which is often administered at the same time as the flu jab.

Harriett said:

“I’ve had reports from people aged under 65 who are struggling to get access to the flu and Covid vaccines so I visited the Boots pharmacy in Upton to hear about issues getting supplies of jabs.

“I’m told that the high street retailer is prioritising larger cities meaning that local people are having to drive as far away as Worcester or Cheltenham to get their jabs.

“This is clearly bad for the environment if people are being forced to make longer journeys to get vaccinated, and it could also be indicating a wider issue in supplies, so I have written to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire integrated Care Board to get their update on this matter.

“If we are to help to take the pressure off the NHS this winter by encouraging people to get vaccinated, it is concerning that some people aren’t able to do the right thing.

“The advice remains that you should get your free flu jab if you qualify for it. This winter is likely to be very busy for our local NHS and it is essential that people take the right steps to help prevent serious illness if at all possible.”