South Africa

Covid-19: 'Health workers given priority for flu vaccines as they are understocked in SA': Zweli Mkhize

Covid-19: 'Health workers given priority for flu vaccines as they are understocked in SA': Zweli Mkhize

Health workers will be given priority when it comes to getting flu vaccinations as there is limited stock available in South Africa.

That means not everybody wanting to get vaccinated may be able to do so.

“We must inform our people that South Africa received a very limited stock of flu vaccines,” health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday.

“These are pre-ordered a year in advance. At the time the country [both public and private] placed its orders, we had not anticipated this Covid-19 pandemic. This means that as it stands, our flu vaccines are understocked.”

Mkhize said that government had engaged with the pharmaceutical industry and it “became clear that the distribution of this vaccine has to be rationalised and prioritised.

“We have therefore taken a decision that health workers in the country will be given priority in receiving the flu vaccine. This is precipitated by the fact that the country cannot afford to have them sick especially as the flu season approaches.

“This is one of the major lessons that we have learnt from countries that have experienced the Covid-19 pandemic. We therefore plead for the understanding of all South Africans who may unfortunately not have access to the flu vaccine this year.”