A surge in demand for the flu jab meant a vulnerable dad had to wait weeks to be vaccinated.

Diabetic Christopher Walsh, 58, from Lower Stratton contacted his local GP, and pharmacies in his search for a jab with no success.

He told the Adver: “At the end of September, I got a letter from my doctor saying that I was eligible for a free flu jab.

“I decided to make an appointment with my pharmacy, Lloyds, and they said I needed to go online, and make an appointment with the chemist. But there was no appointment time.

“I contacted my doctor, I tried Boots, Sainsbury’s, and Asda, and I couldn’t find any. Apparently, there’s a lot of vaccines for those aged 65 and over. I didn’t mind paying.

“My daughter and my daughter-in-law have also been looking for me, So there were three of us looking, and we couldn’t find it anywhere.”

Earlier this month, new NHS figures revealed that 9.5 million people have been vaccinated in GP surgeries and pharmacies in England, which is 2.5 million more than the same point last year.

Chris, who has had flu jabs for several years, said: “What we need really, is rather than having people ringing or going online and looking at different chemists, we need some kind of list of where you can go to get one, or places that have got some in stock.”

He added: “I was fairly anxious, I suffer with depression and anxiety already, being locked in makes that situation obviously worse.”

Eventually his GP called with good news. “The doctor contacted me and said they could now do one but even then, there was around two weeks wait,” Chris said.

Chris, who’s on long term sickness benefit, finally received his flu jab yesterday at Merchiston Surgery on Highworth Road.

A LloydsPharmacy spokesman said: “We have seen unprecedented demand for flu vaccines this year and have administered a far greater number of vaccines compared to this time last year in order to meet this demand.

“We have now secured thousands of additional vaccines which are currently being distributed to all LloydsPharmacy stores across the UK.

“For those who have not yet booked an appointment or are yet to receive their flu vaccine, they can now contact their local store who will advise on availability and take their booking.

“We also welcome the opportunity to support the announcement that over 50s will be eligible for the free NHS vaccine from 1st December.

“This is a constantly evolving situation which we are monitoring closely and will continue to do everything we can to support our customers in receiving the vaccine this winter.”

The flu vaccination programme has been expanded this year so more people than ever are eligible for a free jab – up to 30 million people in England.