AFTER recent reports in the national media of a flu vaccine shortage Have a Go News asked the Department of Health how this affects Western Australians.
Department of Health communicable disease control director, Dr Paul Armstrong said that so far this year there has been an almost 10 per cent increase in influenza vaccines administered at a national level, evidence that people are taking the risks of influenza seriously.
“In Western Australia, 430,000 doses of Australian Government funded (National Immunisation Program – NIP) influenza vaccines have already been distributed to immunisation providers, of which one quarter have been recorded as administered to patients.
This means that while there is currently a national shortage, most providers in WA will have enough vaccine to administer to patients.
“However, the Department of Health is closely monitoring the amounts of NIP influenza vaccines that are available at different providers to ensure stocks are equitably distributed. If immunisation providers are short of vaccines, they will be able to contact other providers that have excess vaccine or work with the Department of Health to access stock.
“Further vaccine supplies are expected in the country before the influenza season commences. Western Australians not eligible for NIP influenza vaccines are advised to check the availability of private market influenza vaccines at their GP or pharmacy immunisation provider before attending for vaccination,” said Dr Armstrong.