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More flu vaccine arrives

Media release
May 2 2005

More flu vaccine arrives

A further 360,000 doses of full strength influenza vaccine arrived into New Zealand today.

The larger than anticipated arrival this week is because Fluarix supplier GlaxoSmithKline was able to take delivery of two shipments, one of which was initially not expected until next week.

“We are very pleased GlaxoSmithKline was able to deliver earlier than expected both shipments this week,” says PHARMAC Medical Director, Dr Peter Moodie.

The vaccines have been cleared by NZ Customs and are currently undergoing cold chain compliance and quality assurance checks before distribution begins.

“We anticipate that distribution will commence on Wednesday with all back orders filled by the end of this week,” says Dr Moodie. “Patients should check with their doctors on Friday for when stock is in their surgery.”

A further 50,000 doses are expected next week. The total of 510,000 full strength influenza vaccines sourced by PHARMAC and the Ministry of Health should be sufficient for all eligible people who want to have a Government-funded flu vaccination. In previous years, less than 450,000 people had sought the subsidised vaccine.

The first 100,000 doses of full strength influenza vaccine were distributed in time for the scheduled start of the subsidised influenza vaccination campaign on 26 April.

Not all orders from practices were completely filled by the first 100,000 vaccines.

“Some practices may have only received part of their order to ensure maximum distribution of the available 100,000 doses across the country,” says Dr Moodie. “However, now that more doses have been received we would expect those orders to be filled.”

The subsidised influenza vaccination campaign runs until the end of July.

[ends]

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