News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Influenza vaccination levels hit near record levels

PHARMAC has distributed over 1.26 million doses of the influenza vaccine this winter.

Director of Operations of Lisa Williams said this was the highest number of vaccines to have been distributed so early in winter.

“The vaccine takes up to two weeks to be effective so it’s great that health providers have been encouraging people to get in early before winter really hits. We really want to thank GPs and community health providers for doing such an amazing job of encouraging vaccination,” Lisa Williams said.

This high level of demand means that while many general practices, health providers, and pharmacies have vaccines available, the national stockpile is now running low.

“We would much rather have vaccines out in the community than sitting in a national stockpile.”

Because the national stockpile is now running low PHARMAC is co-ordinating with the Ministry of Health to ask health providers to target the vaccines they have in their stores to people most at risk.

“It’s great to have a big uptake in the community and now we need to focus on the groups most at risk, such as pregnant women.”

There is still adequate stock of the funded brand of the paediatric influenza vaccine, Fluarix Tetra. Providers are asked to continue to target this to children between 6 and 35 months of age.

The number of vaccines that has been distributed 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 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.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

Controversial Reforms: Te Papa Chief Executive To Step Down

Te Papa’s Chief Executive Geraint Martin announced today he will step down from the role at the end of the year. Mr Martin said he had achieved what he set out to do at the museum, and Te Papa was in a strong position for the future. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland