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Help the Aged highlights impact of flu jab shortage

23rd November 2005

Help the Aged has urged the government to ensure that future supplies of winter flu vaccines are adequate to prevent elderly people from missing out.

Responding to claims over a potential flu vaccine shortage, the organisation has highlighted the impact this will have on vulnerable groups such as the elderly and called for improved standards of preparation.

Lorna Haywood, research manager for Help the Aged, said she was "very worried" about the shortage and that a number of high risk people would be unable to receive the jab as a result.

"It appears that an awful lot of people over 65 are turning up at their GP's surgery and being turned away, being told there isn't any vaccine for them," Ms Haywood told BBC News 24.

"What we need to do in a hurry is to get more vaccination available to those high risk groups."

She advised those who were worried to ensure that their GP knew they were still waiting for the vaccination and wanted to be put on the list.

The shortage is thought to be due to an increase in demand following concerns over avian flu, although the flu jab does not protect against the virus.