Delivery of this year’s flu vaccine will be later than normal, but that’s not expected to affect overall vaccine availability for the public.
“We are aware that the first delivery of this year’s vaccine, scheduled for September, will be delayed. The full quantity of vaccine will be available in October, which will compensate for this delay,” states an email from Heather Amos, spokesperson for the BC Centre for Disease Control. “This means supplies for high priority populations including health-care workers, people in long-term care facilities, and people at high risk due to underlying medical conditions should not be affected.”
She says it’s likely that large public clinics operated by public health nurses will begin offering the flu vaccine in early November, which is in line with most years.
Amos said there is also a shortage of a variety of flu vaccine given to young people, but a similar type available will compensate.
“We have recently become aware of a shortfall of the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four types of flu, and is only given to children and adolescents in B.C. However, we expect to have sufficient supplies of the trivalent vaccine, which protects against three types, to compensate.
“The quadrivalent and trivalent vaccines should offer a similar level of protection for the types of flu expected to circulate this year, so this shortfall is not expected to be clinically significant.”
Amos says delays and shortfalls in flu vaccines happen regularly, so the centre expects this year will be similar to most years in terms of total quantities of vaccine and the timing of distribution.