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Subsidised flu vaccine available from Tuesday

22 April 2005

Subsidised flu vaccine available from Tuesday

People will be able to start getting subsidised influenza vaccines from Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and PHARMAC confirmed today.

Deliveries of the first 100,000 doses of full-strength vaccine to GP surgeries began this week. This will enable the subsidised influenza vaccination campaign to get underway on the scheduled date of 26 April, says PHARMAC Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie.

“GPs and vaccinators will have stock on hand to enable them to start delivering the subsidised vaccine from first thing Tuesday morning,” Dr Moodie says.

“About 75 percent of orders for full strength influenza vaccine received by earlier this week have been dispatched. The remaining deliveries will occur early next week.

“Over half of surgeries have received all of their order. If orders have been partially filled, back orders will be filled as soon as possible.

In the week beginning 2 May, 180,000 more doses of full-strength vaccine are expected, with a further 230,000 doses to come the following week.

“Information has been sent out to GPs asking them to prioritise their patients so that the highest priority patients get vaccinated first. It is important to give those patients protection first as the campaign is getting underway later than usual this year.

“We would expect that by the end of the second week of May all eligible people who want to have a Government-funded flu vaccination will be able to have one.”

Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Alison Roberts says any new information will be sent out to vaccinators to keep them informed about the campaign roll-out.

“Both PHARMAC and the Ministry acknowledge the co-operation of general practitioners in this campaign,” Dr Roberts says. “There has been a degree of uncertainty around when vaccine would be available so we appreciate the patience of the primary care sector.”

Vaccines are being sourced from three suppliers, GlaxoSmithKline, CSL and Solvay.

ENDS

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