8 November 2019

Parents Must Not Panic – Or Blame GPs For Flu Vaccine Shortages, Says College

The Royal College of GPs has responded to Public Health England's announcement on shortages of flu nasal spray - particularly affecting schools – and advising parents to have children vaccinated at their GP surgery instead.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "This is not the news we wanted to hear, but we must urge parents not to panic - and not to blame GPs if their surgery is unable to cope with the extra demand.

"As always, GP teams will pull out all the stops for our patients and will try our best to plug the gaps so that as many primary school children as possible, particularly those in high risk groups,  are vaccinated, but we were not anticipating this news and we cannot conjure extra vaccines out of thin air.

"GPs and their teams plan meticulously for the flu season every year and we work incredibly hard to deliver the vaccination programme as efficiently and quickly as we can, but this situation has knocked our plans out of kilter and some surgeries simply will not have the resources to provide extra flu clinics at short notice.

"We have been assured that Public Health England are working hard to remedy the situation.

"In the meantime, we ask our patients to bear with us – and not to lose trust in the flu vaccination programme. It really is the best protection you can get, and we hope the whole programme will be back to full capacity as soon as possible."

Further Information
RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.