KeepHealthCare.ORG – Flu vaccines limited in Victoria amidst nationwide shortage
One year on from a deadly flu season, Australia is experiencing an unprecedented nationwide vaccine shortage that has forced one state to limit availability to children, sick and the elderly.
More than 1.5 million people have now been vaccinated in Victoria, and supplies are now exhausted, Victoria’s chief health officer Professor Charles Guest told reporters on Friday.
“This is a problem experienced by all states and territories as influenza vaccine uptake has been very strong following the high season last year,” he told reporters.
Up to 50,000 doses of the vaccine have been distributed daily across the state in recent weeks, Professor Guest said.
Australia is experiencing a nationwide flu vaccine shortage. Source: AAP
“We can celebrate, in a way, the fact that we have immunised so many people this season,” he said.
“More people are vaccinated than ever before and that will help stop the spread of flu this year.”
Professor Guest said the remaining vaccine would be conserved for those “at greatest need”.
This includes the elderly, children under five, pregnant women, those with medical conditions and Aboriginal people aged over 15.
Prof Charles Guest says the remaining flu vaccine will be conserved for those at greatest need. Source: AAP
He urged those at risk to contact multiple GPs to see if there is remaining stock of the flu shot.
Meanwhile, arrangements are under way to import further supplies from overseas.
It follows a horror flu season in Victoria in 2017, which killed 116 people in aged care, as well as an eight-year-old girl and a Bacchus Marsh father.
Despite also feeling the effects of the shortage, no other states have yet to announce they will be following Victoria’s decision to limit who can access the vaccines.