Flu Vaccines Are "Likely" To Be Delayed In A No-Deal Brexit

30 August 2019, 09:40

Flu vaccines are "likely" to be delayed in a no-deal brexit, doctors have said
Flu vaccines are "likely" to be delayed in a no-deal brexit, doctors have said. Picture: PA

A no-deal Brexit would "likely" cause delays to supplies of the winter flu vaccines, doctors and NHS bosses have warned.

They said the UK is facing a "particularly virulent" strain of the illness, and warned the Halloween departure date will coincide with flu season and cause a "perfect storm for the NHS".

Major flu vaccine manufacturer Sanofi said vaccines are normally available throughout August and September, but there have been delays in deciding what strains of flu should be used this year.

This means more than a million doses will have to be delivered after 31st October.

Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, told BBC Newsnight: "Rushing things into a country in a period post no-deal Brexit might be a bit difficult, for example.

“I can’t sit here and say ‘don’t worry, no-deal will be fine, no one is going to come to any harm, no one is going to run out of medicines’.

“What we can see is we’re likely to not have enough flu vaccine, we are likely not to have the flu vaccine coverage that we’ve had in previous years, and that is likely to have an impact on the NHS.”

The Department of Health said: “We are working closely with vaccine suppliers to ensure they have robust contingencies in place.

“We want to reassure our patients that our plans should ensure that supplies of vaccines remain uninterrupted when we leave the EU on October 31, whatever the circumstances.”