The government has today announced restrictions on the export of supplies of flu vaccines to protect supplies for UK patients, following a global spike in demand.
The restrictions, which will apply to the flu vaccines being used in the UK this winter, will stop the exporting of medicines placed on the market to be used in the UK, which could cause future supply issues.
There is sufficient national supply of flu vaccine, with deliveries to providers continuing over the coming months.
The Department of Health and Social Care has taken this action in response to high demand for the flu vaccine from other countries to mitigate against the risk of these products being exported.
Matt Hancock said: “We will always act to ensure that the medicines and vaccines destined for UK patients are protected and get to those who need them.
“This action will protect our supply of flu vaccinations, as part of our plans to give 30 million the flu vaccine ahead of this unprecedented winter. The NHS flu vaccination programme is well underway and it’s vital that if you are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine you get one from your GP or pharmacy.”
Alongside the flu vaccines, further updates have been made to the existing list of medicines restricted for export and hoarding, including the removal of some products.
Companies that export a medicine that is on the export restrictions list may face regulatory action from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).