DEMAND: Doctors and pharmacists will control the distribution of this season's influenza vaccine.
DEMAND: Doctors and pharmacists will control the distribution of this season's influenza vaccine.

Huge demand prompts flu vaccine re-stock for CQ

UNPRECEDENTED demand for flu vaccines has had Central Queensland pharmacies and doctors struggling to keep up.

As the region comes to grips with news of a confirmed COVID-19 case, a fresh batch of the flu vaccine has since arrived at Ramsay Pharmacy this week.

Ramsay Pharmacy operations general manager Michelle Lynch said the additional vaccine stock had been urgently distributed to a total of 59 of its nationwide sites.

"Many pharmacists have administered more flu vaccinations in the past two months than they did for the entire 2019 influenza season," she said.

"Fortunately, we've been able to increase our supply so anyone who has not yet been immunised now has the opportunity to have their vaccine and enjoy a flu-free winter."

The pharmacy has reported a record 500 per cent increase in demand for the vaccine compared to 2019's flu season.

Without doubt, Ms Lynch said, COVID-19 had prompted the upsurge in demand much earlier than usual.

"With the risk of COVID-19, it's more important than ever for people to be immunised against the flu this year," Ms Lynch said.

"Fears of getting sick from a double whammy of COVID-19 and the flu led many people to have their flu vaccine a bit earlier than usual this year.

"There's also been calls from leading health officials for the public to make sure they get immunised, and it's been a requirement for many employees - particularly those in aged care and health settings."

To date, Queensland Health has reportedly distributed more than one million doses of the government-subsidised vaccine this year.

Ms Lynch urged people not yet vaccinated to call their closest Ramsay Pharmacy to make an appointment



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