Flu vaccine shortage

DEMAND for the influenza vaccine has outstripped supply, limiting availability to those deemed “high risk”, including young children, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions.
The shortage was affecting the whole state, including South Gippsland.
Dr Chris Webster from Leongatha Healthcare said the clinic still had a good supply for people in high risk groups.
He said for anyone outside those high risk groups, supply was limited.
“Our private stock is currently zero,” he said.
“We have noticed a higher take up of private flu vaccinations this year and more people have wanted to get their children vaccinated.”
Dr Webster said while the lack of supply was annoying, it was not a cause for alarm.
Leongatha Healthcare was expecting to be supplied with an additional 100 vaccines for the private population by the end of last week.
A Victorian Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told The Star government supplied vaccine was currently limited for use in people in high risk groups only.
Those deemed high risk include children under five, people with certain medical conditions, pregnant women, Aboriginal people 15 or older and adults aged 65 and over.
They said the shortage of vaccine was likely to be due to the severe flu season in 2017, which has caused a significant increase in the demand for the vaccine this year.
“We are working with the Commonwealth that provide the vaccine, which has indicated more vaccine could be made available before the end of the season,” the spokesperson said.
Pharmacist Brett Nagle from Nagle’s Pharmacy in Leongatha said he was hopeful the short supply would be corrected in the coming weeks.
“People in high risk groups can still come in for the vaccination. It is being rationed so people in those groups will still have access to the vaccine,” he said.
Mr Nagle said supply of the flu vaccine had failed to keep up with demand a number of years ago.
Terry White Chemmart Leongatha pharmacist Nikolas Anagnostou said they still have vaccines available for adults.
He said more people have been asking for the vaccination this year.
“We have a supply issue most years, but not as bad as this year. Everyone wants to do something about it (the flu) this year,” he said.
“That is why we have the problem. We have enough for the time being,” he said.
Mr Anagnostou said he believed more supply of vaccination for children would be made available, but he didn’t know how much.

All out: Dr Chris Webster from Leongatha Healthcare said the shortage of flu vaccinations available this season was frustrating for the public. There are sufficient vaccines available for people in high risk groups.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=24974

Posted by on May 29 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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