Freeman: ‘Glitches’ possible in flu vaccine programme

Scottish Government aiming to vaccinate 2.25 million people over the coming months.

Freeman: ‘Glitches’ possible in flu vaccine programme Getty Images
More people are expected to receive the flu jab this year.

Technical “glitches” may occur in Scotland’s flu vaccine programme this winter as more people are expected to receive the jab, the Health Secretary has said.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, health officials have expanded the programme, with the Scottish Government aiming to vaccinate 2.25 million people over the coming months – a 50% increase from previous years.

Priority will be given to those most vulnerable from the illness and from Covid-19, with ministers and health officials hoping to avoid people being infected with both at the same time.

Given the increase in the number of doses and changes to how they will be delivered, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said there could be some technical or logistical issues, but that work would be done to rectify them should they occur.

As well as GP surgeries, patients may be required to attend a community hub such as a town hall or a walk-through centre to receive their vaccination this year.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing on Monday, Ms Freeman said: “As we completely but necessarily change how we get the vaccine to you, there may be some glitches.

“But we’re working very closely every day with each health board to spot these and fix them as quickly as we can.”

She added: “We do have enough vaccine for everyone who is eligible and by delivering the programme nationwide in two phases we are prioritising those most at risk from harm.”

Asked later in the briefing about the delivery of vaccinations, the Health Secretary said health boards or GP surgeries should get in touch with the Scottish Government if they have worries about the supply.

She added: “If we know about that we can intervene and resolve that or reassure them that there is vaccine supply on its way to them before what they have has already been used.”