Denis Naughten TD has claimed it is clear from reports coming from GPs across the country that there remains a significant shortfall between the number of high-risk groups seeking the flu vaccine and the availability of the vaccine to GPs and pharmacies.
“Last July I expressed serious concern that the HSE was only ordering an additional 200,000 flu vaccines which would cover an additional 5% of the adult population, and it seems on top of this the HSE is now trying to find out where 600,000 flu vaccine doses have gone,” said Denis Naughten.
“In July when I received a parliamentary reply from the HSE on the flu vaccine order I said that in reality this means there is just an additional 200,000 vaccine doses available for the adult population, or half of all adults, well short of what is needed to protect the population not just from the flu virus but from being confused with the Covid-19 symptoms which could cause absolute chaos within our hospitals this winter.
“We have been lucky, so far, that we have not seen a surge is cases of flu but if this were to happen it would put immense pressure on our testing system, our GPs and our hospitals.
“The only way our health service can manage is if we can rule out the possibility that the patient has flu, as the symptoms are so similar. This can only be achieved by a population-wide vaccination programme against the flu virus.
“And while the public are actively seeking out the flu jab this winter to protect themselves, older people and our health service; the very last thing we need at this point is to have them told that there is no vaccine available or to be put on a waiting list due to a lack of the availability of vaccine privately.
“The HSE needs to source additional adult vaccines and ensure that the 600,000 doses of child flu vaccine drops are all administered with priority given to children in high risk categories or in high risk homes,” concluded Denis Naughten.
previous Dail reply https://denisnaughten.ie/2020/07/31/just-200000-additional-adult-flu-vaccine-ordered-by-hse-despite-pandemic-naughten/