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Top vaccine supplier warns lorry driver shortage could lead to delay in flu jab deliveries

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Top vaccine supplier warns truck driver shortages could lead to delays in flu shots – leading to claims some GP practices have been forced to cancel appointments

  • Seqirus supplies vaccines to all GP practices and pharmacies in England
  • NHS England said patients affected would be contacted by their GP
  • Brexit and pandemic consequences have prompted many European drivers to return home










One of the UK’s largest flu vaccine suppliers has said there will be delays in jab deliveries due to a shortage of truck drivers.

Seqirus, one of the world’s largest flu vaccine companies, reported delays of up to 14 days – leading to claims that some GP practices were being forced to cancel appointments.

It comes after major food companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Wetherspoon said they had been hit by the driver shortage.

Brexit and the pandemic, which have prompted many European drivers to return home and cause a backlog of tests, have been blamed for the shortages.

According to the Road Haulage Association, the UK currently has a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers

Seqirus, which supplies vaccines to all GP practices and pharmacies in England and Wales, said it is “working hard to resolve the delay”.

A spokesperson added: “Due to unforeseen challenges related to road freight delays, we have informed all our customers of a resulting delay in their scheduled vaccine delivery by up to one to two weeks.”

NHS England said patients affected would be contacted by their GP.

Earlier this week, Coca-Cola said a shortage of cans, especially Diet Coke, was exacerbated by the lack of drivers. And cafe chain Wetherspoon also reported that it was struggling with a beer shortage.

Last month, McDonald’s was also hit by the crisis, with milkshakes not being available at all outlets.

It comes after major food companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Wetherspoon said they had been hit by the driver shortage.

It comes after major food companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Wetherspoon said they had been hit by the driver shortage.

Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday that the shortage has disrupted waste collection in at least 18 municipal areas – with some warning problems that could last until after Christmas.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said green waste collection was the hardest hit, although some municipalities have also suspended recycling services to prioritize general waste collection.

The affected local authorities stretch across the UK – from Dundee in Scotland to Dartford in Kent.

Rossendale Borough Council in Lancashire said the problems would “continue into December”, while Manchester City Council apologized to residents after waste collection was missed earlier this week.

Basildon Council in Essex said collection of their ‘pink bag’ recycling had been halted and advised people to bring in their waste ‘until further notice’. And four councils in Wales – including Cardiff – said they already had or expect delays in collections.

Meanwhile, three local authorities in Devon yesterday wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel, urging her to relax immigration rules for truck drivers to reduce the disruption.

According to the letter, North Devon Council has seven driver vacancies, Torbay Council eight and Teignbridge Council ten – a gap which the letter said ‘proved to be very difficult to fill’.

Waste company Biffa said it was “working hard to recruit new drivers”, while the government emphasized that officials were working closely with the DVLA to increase the number of tests and prioritize new applications.

An LGA spokesperson said many municipalities had to cut services.

According to the Road Haulage Association, the UK currently has a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers.

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