Dr Joan Chamberlain.
Dr Joan Chamberlain.

Flu vaccine arrivals delayed

IT is believed the Icelandic volcano eruption has caused further delays to the arrival of seasonal influenza vaccinations in Central Queensland.

Ash from the eruption has grounded flights worldwide, meaning the importing of most of the brands of the vaccine manufactured in Europe has stalled.

The Morning Bulletin understands that at least one Rockhampton organisation may not be able to have its employees vaccinated because of the national shortage.

Production issues and increased orders from the Australian Government had previously caused delays of the seasonal influenza vaccine.

It is believed the company that provides the vaccinations has none of the vaccine in stock and has been forced to postpone all vaccination clinics scheduled from late this month through to early next month.

It is believed the company attempted to source the vaccine from every manufacturer and supplier in Australia, but without success.

It is expected that significant problems with supply of influenza vaccine will continue until at least the middle of May, and the company has had no option but to postpone all clinics, and continues to monitor the situation.

Rockhampton general practitioner Dr Joan Chamberlain is frustrated this year's private stock of the vaccine has been delayed.

Yesterday Queensland Health could not give a time-frame as to when the vaccine would become available for people outside of the high-risk group, and advised these people to be vaccinated with human swine flu to provide protection against the pandemic strain of the virus, which is likely to be the main flu strain this season.

Vaccination with seasonal influenza vaccine is strongly recommended for people at high risk.



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