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NSW: Flu Vaccine Shortage

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    Posted: May 23 2018 at 4:26pm

Flu vaccination shortage hits Victoria, New South Wales


Children, the elderly and sick will be the first priority for flu vaccinations until the government can get a "solid supply"  into Australia.

Victoria's Health Minister Jill Hennessy yesterday said the jab would be rationed to "the vulnerable" until there was a stable supply after record numbers of people had opted for the vaccine, causing a shortage.

"Until we can get the assurance from the commonwealth government there's flu vaccine available for all ... we're rationing our flu vaccines for the most vulnerable groups. They are largely people with certain kinds of illnesses, for the elderly and for young children," Ms Hennessy said.

But we want the flu vaccine to be available for all and that's why we have called upon the federal government to get more assertive and organised about ensuring a solid supply."

She wrote to the federal government last week about the expected availability of the vaccine and has been told additional orders have been placed and are due to arrive in a couple of weeks.

One of the country's top health chiefs this morning moved to reassure the public there would be enough of the vaccine to go around.

The Department of Health's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Anthony (Tony) Hobbs told Today authorities were pleased so many people have had the jab.

Dr Hobbs said each state and territory's chief medical officers had noticed an increase in vaccinations of between 20 and 30 per cent and additional doses had been made available to help meet that demand.

"We are working very closely with all chief health officers to make sure we're managing supply so people who have access need it," he said.

Dr Hobbs said the government had already released an extra 93,000 doses for the over 65s and would be working to source extra vaccines in the coming days.

"We expect another 144,000 doses in next one or two weeks," Dr Hobbs said.

"We expect another  144,000 doses in the next one or two weeks. We continue to work with manufacturers to bring other vaccine into the market. It is still very early in the season. We have had no indication to date that this flu season so far is any different or any worse than any other season."

The shortage is being blamed on an unprecedented demand for the vaccine, with a 30 percent increase in the number of people wanting a jab compared to 2017.

Some elderly residents in Queensland are getting two flu shots to combat the virus.

It comes after last year's deadly flu season led to 1100 flu-related deaths, inclduing 121 aged care residents in Victoria alone.

More than five million doses of the seasonal flu vaccine have been brought into Australia under the National Immunisation Program but increased demand has impacted supply, federal health authorities told AAP on Monday.

"According to states and territories, compared to last year, there has been a 25-30 per cent increase in demand," Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Hobbs said in a statement.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released 9.6 million doses of influenza vaccines under the immunisation program, state programs and the private market as of Monday.

Source:   https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/05/24/06/34/flu-vaccination-supply-shortage-victoria-nsw

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Additional vaccines expected to arrive before peak flu season hits Australia

FLU SEASON is fast approaching and the Australian government is boosting stocks to ensure we are prepared.

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 ordered 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 more will be ordered if necessary.

Demand for the vaccine had increased “significantly” this year across the country, following a very high number of flu cases in 2017.

“We’ll continue to work very closely with the chief health officers of each state and territory to ensure that the vaccine gets to those most in need,” he told reporters in Canberra.

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 additional vaccines will be available from June to July, before the peak period for the spread of the flu.

“I do want to stress to the Australian public that there is still time for them to be vaccinated,” Dr Hobbs said.

“It’s very early in the season and the peak of the influenza season is not until August and September.”

NSW Health on Saturday said 91 confirmed flu cases had been recorded in the week ending May 20, compared to 179 during the same period last year. The state government has distributed about two million doses of the flu vaccine to date, about half a million more than in 2017.

“While supply is tight from the Commonwealth and deliveries restricted, we still urge people to call ahead to their GP or pharmacy to check they hold the right vaccine for them and get their jab,” director of health protection Jeremy McAnulty said in a statement.

Source:   http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/additional-vaccines-expected-to-arrive-before-peak-flu-season-hits-australia/news-story/38a252a5fd4133beb60fb9da4427e842


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2018 at 7:27pm
Techno, how bad is the Flu in the Southern Hemisphere? It looks like there are fewer cases from one of the articles but I am always worried about how bad. I worry about Pneumonia because I get that pretty easy. Old age you got to be tough to get here or smart enough to know when to go to the hospital.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2018 at 3:19am
I am almost exactly the other side of the globe, FluMom, but I will hazard a guess:

Not bad at all yet, as no reports have made it to the internet.  It is still a little early as their flu season has not really started yet.  Early indicators look mild from over here.

Carbon might know more.  He is far closer to the action than I.
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