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Flu vaccines in short supply

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  • Flu vaccines in short supply

    WINDHOEK ? With winter around the corner, Namibians might have to resort to home remedies, as there will be a short supply of flu vaccines this year.

    The two pharmaceutical distributors in the country, Geka Pharma and Nam Pharm have said they are running low on the supply of flu vaccines at the moment.

    ?There is a global shortage of the vaccines,? said Willie van Wyk, Managing Director of Geka Pharma.

    He said global production is low while global demand for the vaccines is high. This has resulted in short supply.

    According to Van Wyk, Geka Pharma usually sources the vaccines from South Africa and due to high demand, South Africa does not have enough supplies for Namibia and the local market.

    ?We have tried various other suppliers and so far, we are still trying to secure some stock,? he said.

    Managing Director of Nam Pharm, Ruanda de Waal shared the same sentiments, saying the shortage is due to a high demand in South Africa.

    She said as a result, there would not be any stocks coming through to Namibia.

    Dr Jack Vries, Chairperson of the National Health and Emergency Management Committee of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), said it has been confirmed that there are no vaccines available especially within the private sector.

    Due to the shortage, he said people would need to take precautions, as the flu vaccine does not guarantee that one might not catch the H1N1/swine flu virus.

    According to Langerhans Pharmacy, the shortage should not have much of an effect on people at all as long as they stay healthy, adding that health care workers would need the vaccine more.

    The pharmacy said the vaccines are mainly going to be used for the soccer World Cup and that is the main reason for the high demand in South Africa. Currently, people are getting their medications as always.