Flu vaccine shortage Jun 07 2019 The Ministry of Health have advised us stock levels of the adult flu vaccine Influvac are low. The remaining vaccines need to be used for those most at risk. Because of this Kelburn Northland Medical will only be providing vaccines for high risk goups eligible for publically funded vaccines. This includes people already booked in with our nurses for flu vaccines – we apologise that unless you are eligible for a free vaccine (see groups below) we will not be able to give you your vaccine. Pregnant women Those aged 65 and over Children aged 4 and under with serious respiratory illnesses People with severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health conditions that make them more susceptible to influenza This does not affect children under the age of 3 – they have a different vaccine. The Immunisation Advisory Centre statement follows: The number of influenza vaccines that have been distributed in 2019 is higher than the total number of influenza vaccines distributed in 2016 and 2017, and nearly as many as the total for all of last winter when 1.3 million doses were distributed. PHARMAC has been working closely with suppliers for several weeks on whether it is possible to source more vaccine. These vaccines need to have the correct influenza strains for New Zealand so they need to be sourced from another Southern Hemisphere market. At this time it is unlikely that more influenza vaccine supplies can be obtained. Demand for the influenza vaccine is an international issue. Australia has also experienced very high demand this year, and unfortunately there is no surplus stock available for us to source from Australia. High uptake of influenza immunisation means most people will have already been immunised this year. However, to ensure that influenza vaccine is available for those most in need and who have not yet had their influenza vaccination, the Ministry of Health is asking General Practices and Pharmacists to ensure they closely manage their stock levels and only vaccinate those who are eligible for publicly funded vaccines: · Pregnant women. · Those aged 65 and over. · Children aged 4 and under with serious respiratory illnesses. · People with severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health conditions that make them more susceptible to influenza.