U.K. facing possible flu vaccine shortage

The United Kingdom Department of Health has released a statement that some parts of the country are experiencing a shortage of the flu vaccine, though it believes that there is no national vaccine shortage.  

The Department of Health hopes to resolve the problem by having hospitals with too many vaccines offer them to those suffering shortages. General practitioners in the United Kingdom order 14.5 to 15 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine each year, according to Sky News.

"There is no national shortage of seasonal flu vaccine," a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said, according to Sky News. "Primary care trusts are working with their GPs to ensure that local supply issues are resolved locally where possible. The Department continued to liaise closely with strategic health authorities to ensure that the NHS is managing winter pressures effectively."

This flu season in the U.K., flu has struck those under 65 the hardest, with high rates in those under the age of 15. As of New Year's Eve, 39 people in the United Kingdom have died from the flu since the outbreak began in October. Thirty-eight of the 39 victims were under the age of 65, and four were under the age of five.

The number of workers in the U.K. calling in sick for work is fast approaching 2 million in total during the flu season, Sky News reports.