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GPs concerned about ‘insufficient quantity’ of influenza vaccines

The HSE has said the two million influenza vaccine doses ordered for adults and children for the winter season are sufficient to meet the needs of the “target cohort”.

This is despite claims by GPs across the country that they have not been supplied sufficient vaccines by the HSE to meet demand. The apparent lack of injectable vaccines for adults provided by the HSE to GP practices has been raised by GPs on social media, with one referring to the issue as a “ridiculous mess”.

Monaghan GP Dr Illona Duffy said that for her 11,000-patient practice, 70 doses were provided in the first delivery followed by another 90 injectable adult doses in the second delivery. She said it was not enough to meet demand.

“Certainly injectables are in short supply. It’s a complete joke,” said Dr Duffy, who added that GPs had organised extra clinics and were making huge efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible.

In a response to the Medical Independent (MI), a HSE spokesperson said that 1.4 million adult doses had been ordered this season, compared to 1.1 million doses for the 2019/2020 winter season. Some 600,000 doses of live attenuated influenza vaccine (intranasal vaccine) have been contracted by the HSE for children – enough for an estimated uptake of 80 per cent.

“Two million doses will be sufficient for the target cohort as set out by the
Department of Health,” said the HSE spokesperson.

At press time, MI understood that the HSE had yet to receive in full all stock ordered from manufacturers to-date, with supply chain issues believed to be behind the lack of vaccines available to GPs for vaccinating targeted groups.

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