The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has said surgery doctors are not ‘rationing’ flu vaccines, but are prioritising patients most in urgent need.

This comes following media reports that supply of the current season’s annual flu vaccine are not meeting demand.

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the RCGP, said that the shortage of supply “seems to be affecting pharmacies more than GPs at present”.

He said the college has “asked the government for reassurance that there is enough vaccine supply to go round” during the country’s biggest-ever flu vaccination programme with 30 million people now eligible for the free vaccine.

The RCGP has also asked “for government guidance on prioritisation if the shortages turn out to be more widespread”.

“GPs plan meticulously and well in advance for the annual flu programme every year, but the additional cohort of year 11 school children and over 50s were included in this year’s programme, at a fairly late stage, so GPs are working hard to ensure that priority is given to those in the traditional ‘at risk’ groups, such as the elderly, those with pre-existing health problems like asthma and pregnant women.

“GPs are not rationing flu jabs but rather prioritising patients most in urgent need.”

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