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‘You’ll have to pay for free flu jab’

DOCTORS in Solihull are running out of flu vaccine with one surgery telling a local pensioner he’ll have to pay £7 for his ‘free’ injection.

DOCTORS in Solihull are running out of flu vaccine with one surgery telling a local pensioner he’ll have to pay £7 for his ‘free’ injection.

David Curtis from Silhill Hall Road was flabbergasted after ringing his local GP at Yew Tree Surgery on Tuesday to book his free flu jab only to be told by the receptionist that they’d run out.

The 67-year-old retired education inspector and advisor said: “The receptionist was extremely nice and explained that the surgery was out of vaccine but she would ring me when supplies had been replenished.

“A quarter of an hour later she rang back. She had just been informed they were not going to be sent any further supplies and if I still wanted a jab I could buy one in a Shirley supermarket for £7.

“I’m a great believer in the NHS and I was very surprised. A year ago the last government had heaps of the stuff.”

A spokesperson for Solihull NHS Care Trust said: “GP practices order vaccine directly from their suppliers. We are working with GPs to address any local supply issues.”

So far 39 people nationwide have died from flu, the vast majority with the swine-flu strain, and infection rates among the under-fives are the highest in years.

Those eligible for free flu jabs include:

* Pregnant women

* People aged 65 or over

* People who live in residential care homes

* Carers of people who are elderly or infirm

* Healthcare workers

* People with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease, chronic asthma and diabetes that requires medication

* People with lowered immunity to infection as a result of illness or treatment, such as people with HIV infection or those on steroid treatment or cancer drugs.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
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