News - UK's Hewitt blames doctors, bird flu fears for shortfall of flu vaccines - Forbes.com
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said under-ordering of influenza vaccines by doctors was partly to blames for a current shortfall of stocks.
In a statement to parliament, Hewitt added that fears of a bird flu pandemic had also contributed to the shortage along with an increase in demand from so-called 'worried well' patients.
The Department of Health has issued 400,000 extra doses of vaccine from emergency stocks, while a further contingency stock of 200,000 doses will be delivered in late January, Hewitt said.
'The current problems may be due to a combination of factors, such as the under-ordering of vaccine on the one hand, and possibly vaccination of 'worried well' on the other,' Hewitt said.
'Awareness may also be higher this year due in part to the very high level of media interest in the threat of avian flu in birds and of pandemic flu.'
'We do not expect seasonal flu vaccine to protect against avian influenza or against pandemic influenza.'
UK's Hewitt blames doctors, bird flu fears for shortfall of flu vaccines - Forbes.com