Delay expected in delivery of flu shots

The British government expects a delay in the delivery of flu shot stocks, raising concerns for vulnerable people at the start of the flu season.

The flu jab is usually given first to high-risk groups such as those over 65 years and those with respiratory and chronic conditions, reports the Independent.

The delay is blamed on manufacturers being forced to switch to growing a flu strain for the vaccine called 161B after another strain failed to grow, the newspaper said.

The Health Ministry, however, said the situation is better than what had been predicted in June. It also said some hospital may have to share their stocks. The department said there would be enough doses eventually but that some patients may have to wait to get their shots.

A spokesman for the British Medical Association said, "Late delivery of vaccines means immunization clinics will in many areas start later than normal."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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