4 May 2020

Ensure there's enough supply before getting flu vaccine if not high-risk - GP

10:40 am on 4 May 2020

There will be a shortage of the flu vaccine next week if practices don't get more stock, says chair of the NZ Medical Association.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

There are conflicting accounts about the state of New Zealand's supply of the flu vaccine.

The government says there is sufficient stock, but a leaked e-mail from the Ministry of Health suggests there is an overall gap in supply.

Chair of the NZ Medical Association and GP Dr Kate Baddock told Morning Report practices are not able to get any more stock until after 11 May when a new shipment is expected to come in.

"We know there is going to be a gap in supply, the question is whether demand therefore exceeds what is currently available ... we don't know what the demand will be like next week."

She expects most practices to have between one and four days of supply on hand currently.

"The distribution up until now, since the Ministry has been controlling distribution, it has in fact been reasonable and we have had adequate supplies coming through each day."

If the demand exceeds this week's stock, it will be a shortfall, she said.

Many more people are seeking vaccinations than they may have in previous years, she said.

"I would ask all those not in high risk groups when they ring their GP to see whether they can get a vaccine, ensure that there are adequate supplies."

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