Companies guaranteed pharmacies 160,000 fewer flu vaccines

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 08-11-2020 14:00:00 · 1 Comments

Portuguese pharmacies have tried this year to increase the purchase of flu vaccines, whose demand rose 21% to mid-October, but the companies that sell them guaranteed only 440,000 doses, 160,000 fewer than last year.

According to the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF), "wholesale distributors have received requests to supply vaccines from pharmacies, five times higher than they are able to provide this year. “By the end of October, 234,000 Portuguese pharmacies had been vaccinated, 64,000 fewer than in the same period last year. In addition to directly purchased influenza vaccines, pharmacies received 200,000 vaccines from the National Health Service (SNS) for administration to citizens aged 65 and over. According to data from the Ministry of Health, from October 19 to November 1, 192,428 vaccines were distributed to a total of 2,383 pharmacies, located in 267 municipalities across the country. The rest will be distributed by the end of the week.

The data made available to Lusa by the ANF indicate that, last year, pharmacies had managed to buy a total of 600,000 doses of the flu vaccine, satisfying the demand of 543,000 Portuguese. This year, the pharmacy chain broke its record for dispensing flu vaccines on October 19, vaccinating 67,000 Portuguese.

According to data released by the Minister of Health, in parliament, one million Portuguese have already been vaccinated and there are still 800,000 vaccines in 'stock'. "As of 3 November, 1.8 million vaccines were delivered to the National Health Service (SNS). 270,000 vaccines are being delivered in the week of 30 November to 6 December" said the governor. Marta Temido also recalled that the Ministry of Health "reinforced the acquisition of vaccines this year by 39%," for a total of 2.070 million doses, and that it advanced with the anticipation of the vaccination program.

The National Health Service vaccination campaign kicked off on September 28, with a first phase that included only the population groups considered priority, such as residents of nursing homes, pregnant women and health professionals and the social sector providing care. In the second phase, which started on October 19, the vaccine was also given to people aged 65 and over and people with chronic diseases. In addition to free vaccines for people included in the risk groups, there will be vaccines for sale in pharmacies that can be purchased with a prescription and are commendable.

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The flu vaccine situation is a real public health failure. I am a retired primary care physician and have not been able to find ann by pharmacy with stock. CUF cannot get Vaccine. This is a supply Chain fiasco. Suddenly I feel like I am living in 1980’s DDR. Why should I have to fly to Zurich for a flu shot? Is this a harbinger of the future of Covid Vaccine. Have your NHS but give residents a real alternative.

By William Hansrn from Lisbon on 08-11-2020 11:13
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