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GPs have been left reeling after drug company GSK admitted it was unable to fulfil orders for flu vaccines, just a month after Chiron withdrew two million doses.

GSK last week cancelled orders promised to some GPs who had turned to the company after Chiron withdrew supplies. An industry source told Pulse the company had mistakenly 'oversold' and had been forced to 'scrounge around' other companies for spare vaccines.

A GSK spokesperson said it had been unable to fulfil orders for a small number of customers but there was enough vaccine to satisfy demand.

Dr George Kassianos, immunisation spokesman for the RCGP, advised GPs to leave healthy over-65s for a 'second wave' when more flu vaccine was available. Practices should line up at least three vaccine suppliers for next year, he said.

The Department of Health said GPs should order new stocks from Aventis Pasteur or the department.

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