August 20, 2022

The NHS has scrapped free flu jabs for thousands and thousands of individuals aged over 50 because the organisation selected to reverse its coverage to pre-pandemic situations.

Secondary college kids aged 11 to fifteen who had been additionally eligible for the free shot received’t be supplied one both.

It comes after a document 35 million folks – together with everybody over the age of fifty – had been supplied the vaccines this winter, amid fears that Britain may face one of many worst flu seasons in historical past. 

A letter printed on the NHS web site has confirmed that the flu vaccination programme for 2022/23 will probably be solely supplied to affected person teams eligible in step with ‘pre-pandemic suggestions’.

The NHS has scrapped free flu jabs for thousands and thousands of individuals aged over 50 because the organisation selected to reverse its coverage to pre-pandemic situations (inventory picture)

This consists of the over-65s, folks in clinically ‘in danger’ teams, very younger kids and pregnant ladies.

The modifications are anticipated to have an effect on round 10 million folks aged over 50 – some who had already organized jab appointments – and 4 million secondary college kids.

The letter added that: ‘Seasonal flu vaccination stays an essential public well being intervention and a key precedence for 2022/23 to scale back morbidity, mortality and hospitalisation related to flu at a time when the NHS and social care will probably be managing winter pressures, doubtlessly together with additional outbreaks of COVID-19.’ 

Pharmacists warned that the steerage had triggered chaos for them, lots of whom had already ordered thousands and thousands of vaccines, which might now have to be cancelled.

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Dr Leyla Hannbeck, the chief govt of the Affiliation of Unbiased A number of Pharmacies, advised The Telegraph: ‘Nobody has communicated to the general public that the supply of flu jabs this yr goes to be any totally different to final yr.

Pharmacists warned that the guidance had caused chaos for them, many of whom had already ordered millions of vaccines, which would now need to be cancelled

Pharmacists warned that the steerage had triggered chaos for them, lots of whom had already ordered thousands and thousands of vaccines, which might now have to be cancelled

‘Final yr over-50s had been being advised they need to get their jab, now the recommendation has modified, however nobody is explaining why. It’s going to trigger a lot confusion.’

The steerage was given in step with recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Division of Well being and Social Care.     

Nonetheless, JCVI minutes from December recommend the committee was eager to see kids aged 11 to 16 nonetheless supplied jabs. 

The minutes say it could be ‘acceptable to vaccinate 50 to 64-year olds for the 2022-23 season if funding out there’, however stated this group was a decrease precedence.

However well being officers have opted to axe each teams from the rollout.

It follows formal JCVI recommendation in September, which backed jabs for these over the age of 65, and for youthful folks in at-risk teams, saying it was for well being officers to think about ‘provide and affordability’ earlier than planning.

One supply working with the rollout advised The Telegraph there have been considerations the choices seemed to be financially pushed.

He stated: ‘Provided that the following pandemic may be attributable to the influenza virus it appears extraordinarily reckless to to chop the flu vaccine programme.’

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A Whitehall supply stated: ‘We’re getting again to enterprise as typical. It made sense to increase the flu jab supply through the pandemic after we had been involved concerning the twin risks of Covid and flu, however we have to get working in the way in which we used to, as a part of dwelling with Covid.’

Comes following warnings from scientists including Professor Graham Medley that the UK would take longer to spot variants if free Covid tests were scrapped

Comes following warnings from scientists together with Professor Graham Medley that the UK would take longer to identify variants if free Covid exams had been scrapped

The measure, which can save the taxpayer and the NHS cash, comes following warnings in opposition to axing free Covid exams – which is claimed to price as much as £2billion a month.

Professor Graham Medley, chair of No10’s coronavirus modelling group, warned that new Covid variants will take weeks longer to detect when mass testing is scrapped on April 1.

From that time the nation will rely solely on the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics’ weekly Covid survey to watch group unfold of the virus, with solely severely susceptible folks eligible without cost exams.

Professor Medley stated that whereas the UK was alerted to Omicron by South Africa, and Delta by India, it was Britain’s mass testing programme that helped to choose up the Alpha variant in South East England and warned the world.

He’s the most recent Authorities adviser to warn in opposition to the potential risks of scrapping mass testing, after two SAGE members – Professor John Edmunds and Professor Matt Keeling – additionally expressed concern.