A number of Moray residents have complained about “confusion” after receiving NHS Grampian appointment letters for the winter flu jab, despite having been given the vaccination a fortnight earlier.
NHS Grampian last night apologised over the “inconvenience” caused by the duplication, which follows earlier problems with the roll-out last month, when residents were sent letters for appointment dates that had already passed.
Health boards have been handed the responsibility this year for the first time to organise and administering flu jabs, rather than GPs, amid increased demand as result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said he had again contacted NHS Grampian’s chief executive amid the ongoing problems, describing the process as a “shambles”.
He said the problems experienced in supplying doses to the public this year “do not bode well” for the mass vaccination operation expected to be carried out for Covid-19.
“The roll-out of the winter flu jab across Scotland this year has been a shambles,” the Scottish Tory leader said.
“Here in Moray, we have suffered a series of problems.
“First, people received letters for appointment dates that had already past, now they are being offered appointments two weeks after being vaccinated.
“It is alarming that such mistakes are still being made when we should be in the final stages of this year’s programme.
“I have to say it does not bode well for next year, when we hope there will be a national roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“That will be an enormous logistical operation and a huge challenge for our health service.
“The catalogue of problems experienced during this year’s flu jab programme must be ironed out before then so there is no repeat of this in future.”
The Press And Journal has previously reported the “shambles” of scores of north-east patients missing out on flu jabs as letter advising them of appointment times arrived too late to get there in time or, in some cases, days after the event.
In October, more than 300 people in Aberdeenshire, including elderly and “at risk” patients, were sent home without receiving treatment after travelling to Meldrum Academy only to find there were no stocks of the vaccine available.
A NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “We are aware of some isolated incidents where people, who have already received their flu vaccination, were sent a second appointment.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“More than 100,000 people across Grampian have already received their flu jab this year and the feedback from our new flu clinics has been incredibly positive.
“This is testament to the very hard work of an extremely dedicated team and we want to thank them for their efforts.”