FLU SHOT: Warwick Friendly Society's Pharmacist-in-Charge Ahmad Almesfer with the flu vaccine in 2016, which was also delayed.
FLU SHOT: Warwick Friendly Society's Pharmacist-in-Charge Ahmad Almesfer with the flu vaccine in 2016, which was also delayed. Jonno Colfs

Delay to flu vaccine concerns experts

NEWS that the super-strength flu vaccine will be delayed has some health experts concerned for public health.

The vaccine, which has been developed to fight four strains of the flu virus, is being manufactured in Europe and is not expected to reach doctors' surgeries in Australia until late April.

Warwick Friendly Society Pharmacies general manager Ahmad Almesfer said despite pharmacies being due to receive their shipments this week, it was still not good enough.

"The flu can be a deadly disease,” he said.

"And these delays often mean the most vulnerable people, those over 65 who would normally get the shot for free from their doctor, now have to pay for it.

"It's just lucky we're not delayed as well.”

Mr Almesfer said delivery of the vaccine had been delayed three years in a row.

"This injection contains four strains, which is the same as last year but they've changed one of the strains to align with the World Health Organisation guidelines and that appears to be the reason for delays,” he said.

"However we have been ensured by our suppliers that we will have the vaccine stock here by the end of the week, which is about three weeks overdue.

"It's recommended to get it early, so for those who need or want to get the flu shot before late April, we'll be able to help them out.”



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