KeepHealthCare.ORG – Flu vaccine shortage in Warwick leaves parents in the lurch
WARWICK pharmacies have been unable to supply flu vaccines for children for up to a month after a statewide shortage leaves parents in the lurch.
Warwick Friendly Society pharmacy general manager Ahmad Almesfer said both his stores on Wood Street and Palmerin Street had run out of the vaccine about a month ago, with no date set for when the jab would be back in stock.
The shortage comes after Warwick health experts labelled last year’s horror flu season the worst they had seen.
“They’ve made more of them (vaccines) this year but the uptake has been massive, they knew this year was going to be bad so they developed more and more stock and even that has been used up,” Mr Almesfer said.
He said vaccines for people aged over 18 were still in stock, but they could not be used for children as they had not been tested and approved for use.
Parents are disappointed when they discover their children can’t be vaccinated, he said.
“It does put the person at risk but it’s good that the parents do get vaccinated because then they’re less likely to get sick and pass it on.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the government had stock to supply the National Immunisation Program, which provides the flu jab free to high-risk groups, including children under five and over-65s.
“We have already issued 47percent more influenza vaccine than at the same time last year,” Dr Young said.
A Federal Government spokesman said they had secured an extra 950,000 flu doses, with the 8.3 million vaccines issues in 2017 rising to almost 11million this year.
“All of these vaccines are expected to be available ahead of the anticipated peak period of seasonal influenza transmission, which is usually August or September,” he said.
Australian Medical Association of Queensland president Dr Dilip Dhupelia about 4500 Queenslanders had been diagnosed with the flu this year.
Mr Almesfer advised parents to get the flu vaccine and be diligent with hygiene while waiting for vaccines.
Queensland Pharmacy Guild vice-president Chris Owen, who is the regional manager of Priceline Pharmacy and Discount Drug Store in Warwick, said manufacturers were creating more vaccines but availability would depend on frequency of orders.
Both Priceline Pharmacy and Discount Drug Store in Warwick are also out of stock of the children’s flu vaccine, but Rose City Medical Centre has some vaccines in stock.