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Health

Doctors in England to get extra flu vaccine supplies

FILE PHOTO: A man waits to receive a flu vaccine at the drive-thru flu vaccination centre, in Darlington, Britain September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Lee Smith

LONDON (Reuters) - English doctors are to be given extra supplies of this winter’s flu vaccine in a bid to reduce the pressure on the health service amid rising numbers of coronavirus cases.

Earlier this month, the Royal College of GPs wrote to the health minister, Matt Hancock, seeking assurances that they will have enough doses of the vaccine to cope with demand.

Doctors should deliver vaccines from their own stock and they can then place orders from mid-October for extra supplies from government-secured stock to be delivered from November, the health ministry said.

The vaccines will be provided for at-risk groups like 65s and over, pregnant women and those with pre-existing conditions, as well as front-line health and social care workers.

“If you are in an eligible group, or if you are a front-line health or social care worker, the flu vaccination will help to protect you and your loved ones this winter; that is very important at a time when COVID-19 is an additional threat,” said Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison

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