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Government holds up flu vaccine for second time

Government holds up flu vaccine for second time

It is "outrageous" that Health minister Annette King hasn't instructed the Ministry of Health to release supplies of the flu vaccine to GPs and health clinics, despite having had supplies of the vaccine for two weeks, ACT health spokesman Heather Roy said today.

The country's GPs have attacked the Ministry of Health for not distributing the vaccine immediately when supplies arrived. Supplies of the vaccine have been in the country since the end of March.

"Annette King says NZ can't afford a first world health system like that in Australia and the UK," Mrs Roy said. "Now she has proven it, firstly with the PHARMAC tendering process fiasco and secondly with the delay in distributing the flu vaccine which has been available for two weeks. This is the sort of hold up you would expect in a third world country.

"It is getting very late in the day to vaccinate people. This is compromising peoples' health because they will start getting the bugs before the vaccine has had a chance to kick in. Annette King should be doing everything she can to fast track the vaccination programme given that the Government was responsible for the hold up in the first place," Mrs Roy said.


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