A flu vaccine shortage left thousands of people over 65 who were unable to get the shots.
Patients were repeatedly sent away from doctors and pharmacists until new stocks arrived.
The problems were attributed to the launch of a new, more effective jab that led to ordering supplies several months later than usual. NHS officials insist that there will be enough to go around, and another lot should get to some GP surgeries from next week.
I can not get the jab anywhere
Barbara Thomas tried for two weeks to get her flu shot.
The 75-year-old surgery in Billingshurst, West Sussex, has been low-supply and many patients have been dismissed.
At the most recent last week's vaccination session, there was a queue that ran twice around the parking lot – mostly untreated.
Barbara Thomas, 75 and Billingshurst, West Sussex, found herself unable to get the flu shot
Mrs. Thomas, who is a widow with three nephews, said: "The sessions were from three to seven and would run out at about half past three."
Her elderly neighbor who walks with a frame has not been able to get the injection despite queuing in the same intensive surgery for more than one hour. Mrs. Thomas also tried to get the blow from her chemist, but was told that they were not taking appointments "because they had no action".
However, others will not receive these new deliveries and there are concerns that many elderly patients who have already been turned away do not bother to go back.
Shortages across the country have been reported including Bristol, Kent, Devon, West Sussex, Essex, Derbyshire, Middlesbrough and Liverpool.
The fiasco is the latest flu vaccine crisis affecting the national health system. Last winter, the blow to millions had little or no effect because one of the strains he had targeted had already changed.
The flu season usually starts in December and takes at least two weeks to get the most out of immunity. Yesterday's NHS data revealed that only 45.2% of over 60s have received the vaccine so far this season, compared to 61.9% this time last year.
A pharmacist yesterday said he did not expect any further supplies until after Christmas, while the patients talked about being sent off up to four times by their general practitioner.
This year, over-65s are given an improved flu shot called Fluad. But general practitioners say that in February they received official instructions from the NHS in England to use it – four months after traditionally placing orders with suppliers.
Surgeries were given until the end of March to secure stocks, but many lost their deadlines and some have never even seen official guidelines.
NHS England says there are many vaccines available, but they will be delivered to series surgeries, with the next one expected next week. A GP source said: "There should be enough vaccines in the market – it's just that nobody seems to know where they went." The NHS England guide in February had caused "absolute chaos" in surgical interventions, the source said.
This year, over-65s are given an improved flu shot called Fluad. But general practitioners say that in February they received official instructions from the NHS in England to use it – four months after traditionally placing orders with suppliers. In the picture is a stock image
Pharmacists order flu-based supplies on an ad-hoc basis, depending on the application.
However, many had difficulty obtaining supplies from wholesalers.
John Billing, 58, a pharmacist in Kingswood, Bristol, said he was turning away up to 15 patients a day, adding: "The advice we were given was to tell our customers that there would be no orders until after Christmas.
It's coming to the point where some patients say & # 39; well, I'll forget it only then this year & # 39;. Some of these patients are referred by their general practitioners because even their general practitioners have not obtained them ".
Surgery in Farnham, Hampshire, is restricting vaccines to over-75, while some practices in Bristol are only giving it to over-seventy-year-olds.
A patient in Billingshurst, West Sussex, reported seeing a queue that stretched "twice around the parking lot" for an influenza immunization session that was scheduled to start at 3:00 pm. At 15.30, the intervention was short of blows. An 80-year-old patient in Liverpool wrote on Twitter that she had been denied the vaccine four times with her 78-year-old sister, who suffers from chronic asthma.
Last winter, the jab worked for less than one in three over-65s because one of the strains he had targeted had already changed.
John Kell, of the Patients' Association, said of the supply problems of this year: "The NHS offers strokes of influence every winter and the winter comes every year at the same time.
"This clearly represents a very serious risk to patient safety and could put additional NHS services under pressure in the event of an early flu outbreak." Jonathan Ashworth, secretary for the shadow health of Labor, has called the issue "a scandal".
An NHS England spokesman said the vaccine "will be available to all in time for when the flu season usually begins in December," adding: "Doctors and pharmacists have been alerted in March already to have a crucial role to explain to patients that there is sufficient vaccine available there. "
A spokesman for Boots UK told The Daily Mail:
"We would like to reassure all our customers that many Boots stores have a vaccine supply for over 65s (Fluad or aTIV) and are continuing to book customers for appointments, but there is a temporary supply shortage. in a small number of stores that we expect to return completely to the warehouse by the end of the week, this will guarantee vaccination to customers before the traditional peak of the flu season and we can confirm that there are no stock problems with any vaccinations for clients under 65 years.
For information on how to make an appointment, visit www.boots.com/flujab or visit the local Boots store to talk with your pharmacist. "