The head of the HSE insists no flu vaccines sent out to GPs and pharmacists have gone missing.
1.3 million doses have been distributed so far, but reports this morning suggested 600,000 of them aren’t accounted for. (Read about that here).
The HSE says that may be because vaccines which have been sent out haven’t been given to patients yet or doctors haven’t applied for reimbursement.
CEO Paul Reid has told the Oireachtas Health Committee how the issue has come about saying “There’s no missing vaccines, there’s always a lag delay between people registering with PCRS for reimbursement to GPs but we just want to see where the allocation is and how to prioritise the final distribution”.
No more deliveries of the flu vaccine are being made for now until the executive can get more information.
It says the remaining supply will be prioritised for practices where stocks are running low.
It’s also reminded doctors to only give the jab to people in at-risk groups – including over 65s, healthcare workers and pregnant women.
That’s prompted criticism from Social Democrats co-leader Roisin Shortall but the HSE say that’s always been the policy and is based on public health advice.
Meanwhile, the HSE says it’s too early to say if they have enough vaccines for the winter flu season.
HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, says the remaining stocks will be sent to practices where supplies are running low.