KeepHealthCare.ORG – Govt allays fears of flu vaccine shortage
An extra 800,000 flu vaccines will be made available to Australians over the coming months to help keep up with unprecedented demand.
Health authorities have been forced to ration doses amid a shortage of influenza shots supplied under the national immunisation program.
The federal government on Saturday said it had secured nearly a million additional doses, including 500,000 to be made in Melbourne.
It comes on top of the 10 million vaccines that have already been released this flu season – representing an overall 26.5 per cent increase on last year.
Australia’s acting chief medical officer Anthony Hobbs said there had been “significant demand” for the seasonal flu shot as people heed the message to get vaccinated.
“We will continue to monitor the supply of influenza vaccines and we will secure further doses if required,” he said in a statement.
An extra 93,000 doses of an enhanced trivalent vaccine designed specifically for the elderly were secured this week and are now being distributed.
A further 150,000 of the quadrivalent vaccine will arrive in Australia by late next week and will be sent out “as quickly as possible” to providers, Dr Hobbs said.
It’s expected the bulk of the additional vaccines will be available from mid-July before the peak period for the spread of the flu, which is usually August or September.
Australians are being urged to check availability with their providers before making appointments.
Australian Associated Press