Health COVID-19

Flu doses fast tracked after local supplies run low

23 April 2020

GPs and community pharmacies will soon have more doses of the flu vaccine after a spike in demand resulted in wait times for local residents.

Member for Euroa and The Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan says the Federal Government’s efforts to secure an extra 3.5 million doses is good news.

“Many pharmacies in our region last week were running low or were out of their initial doses because of huge demand,” Ms Ryan said.

“This resulted in people having to put their name down on a waiting lists for the vaccination.

“As a result, I wrote to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to ask him to fast track doses of the flu vaccine for local pharmacies and GP clinics.” 

Ms Ryan said local pharmacies rapidly used their early doses of the vaccine after people heeded the advice of the government and the media to protect themselves against influenza.

“In a normal year most doses are administered between mid-April and through May, but many people are taking the advice of government to get the vaccine early,” Ms Ryan said. 

“Since the start of March, more than 2.1 million flu vaccine doses have been administered and recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register, which is more than triple those given at the same time in 2019.

“Flu vaccinations save lives and it is particularly important this year due to the threat of COVID-19.

“While a flu vaccination does not prevent COVID-19, influenza and COVID-19 can both cause serious respiratory problems.

“A double whammy of both the flu and COVID-19 can be life threatening, especially for the vulnerable members of our community.

“I’m pleased the Federal Government has recognised the importance of making more early doses available to reduce the waiting time for locals who want to get vaccinated early.”

To book your flu vaccination, please phone your local pharmacy or GP clinic.

Photo caption: Avenel pharmacist Martin Sala gives Steph the flu vaccination. More doses are on their way after a spike in demand caused local shortages.

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