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Some GPs out of flu jabs after coronvirus triggers early start to immunisation campaign

Some GPs are reporting they’ve run out of flu jabs after Covid-19 triggered an early start to the annual immunisation campaign.

A patient in a car receives a flu jab from a medical worker in PPE at a drive-in clinic in Geraldine, South Canterbury. Source: Supplied

Clinics would usually wait until April to start offering vaccines to higher risk patients who are over 65, have pre-existing conditions or are pregnant, but the Ministry of Health hit go two weeks early.

Drug-buying agency Pharmac says 890,000 doses were distributed early, but 1 NEWS has heard some clinics have already run out, while others still have stock they’ve not used.

Four Peaks Health in Geraldine, South Canterbury, says it delivered 400 doses in less than a week at a drive-in clinic where patients could roll down a window, roll up a sleeve and get the shot from a medical worker in PPE. It’s now awaiting restocking.

Pharmac Director of Operations Lisa Williams told 1 NEWS it expects deliveries from overseas of more flu shots in the next few weeks with deliveries around Easter.

In 2018 there were a record 1.3 million doses distributed, but this year could break records as more seek extra protection from seasonal flu - if and when they can get the shot.