Publication:

The Mail on Sunday - 2021-10-10

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Covid brings soaring demand for flu jab

China In The Dock

By Stephen Adams

CHEMISTS are experiencing record demand for flu jabs as the Covid pandemic has triggered a ‘sea change’ in the public’s approach to vaccination. They have revealed that requests for the jab have gone through the roof in the past few weeks – and they expect this season to be bigger than ever in terms of flu vaccination. Dr Layla Hannbeck, head of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said: ‘People are interested in flu vaccination in a way they were not before. There has been a sea change in opinion brought about by Covid. ‘A lot of people now want to protect themselves going into winter, which is good to see.’ Many over-50s chose to have a flu jab when they came in for their Covid booster, she added. Ian Strachan, who runs four pharmacies in North West England, said his branches usually give 1,500 to 2,000 flu jabs each season but they have already done 900. ‘Provided we can get the supply, we’ll easily top 2,000 this winter,’ he said. There are concerns about supply issues – and a few chemists have run out of stock – but Dr Hannbeck said the situation was largely under control. This year sees a massive expansion of the NHS flu campaign, with 40million people across the UK – 60 per cent of the population – eligible for a free jab.

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