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Flu vaccine delayed even further

Flu vaccine delayed even further

ACT health spokesman Heather Roy today asked the Minister of Health to tell the nation who was going to get the flu vaccine and when, after hearing the release of the full strength flu vaccine has been delayed a third time.

"This morning it became apparent that GPs will not get the full strength flu vaccine until May 3, not April 26," Mrs Roy said. "General practitioners and their nursing staff are fed up with the delays and being left to explain to their patients why vaccinations are not yet available. Annette King and the Ministry of Health's incompetence will be responsible for unnecessary illness and suffering this winter and maybe even death. "

Mrs Roy said she was appalled at today's media photo opportunity of the Director General of Health Karen Poutasi getting a flu jab when so many new Zealanders had been denied theirs for so long.

"What about the elderly and the vulnerable New Zealanders who have been waiting since the end of February for theirs? What possible medical reason can Ms Poutasi have for getting hers today," Mrs Roy said. "Annette King owes New Zealanders an explanation, especially those at higher risk of getting the flu and frontline staff, who will be expected to cope with the deluge of patients who should have been protected form the flu this winter.

"Incompetent decision making by Pharmac and an appalling administration of supply by the Ministry of Health has a lot to answer for. Yet Karen Poutasi is rewarded with her jab well before anyone else. This is the sort of scenario I have come to expect of Annette King."


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