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GPs offer extra flu jab clinics

By Georgie Hobbs

GPs are running dedicated immunisation sessions throughout UK surgeries until the end of October, with many opening on Saturday mornings to give over 65s and at-risk patients a flu jab.

Dr Gary Tudor, a GP in Torquay said that by opening outside of usual hours, he can immunise 800 patients in one Saturday morning session. He said: ‘It would take three times as long if we were to do it in ordinary practice time. It means a large number of patients can receive their vaccine quickly with no waiting time.'

Last month, masses of practices across the country were affected by a delay in obtaining the flu vaccine from two pharmaceutical companies, Novartis and GSK. The pair admitted to production and packaging problems that would delay delivery until last Friday, 13 October. In spite of this, Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chair, championed GPs ‘flexible' approach to patients' annual flu threat.

He said the once yearly special vaccination sessions showed ‘the innovative ways GPs are working to do the best for their patients,' adding that any attempt to extend the services would require extra NHS resources.

‘Year after year GP practices rise to the challenge and immunise millions of vulnerable people on top of their routine work. GPs will and should be able to choose to operate in a way that works best for their own patients,' he added.

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