Nova Scotia has been shorted on flu-shot deliveries
HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government has ordered close to 450,000 vaccines for the upcoming flu season.
The problem is, there's a delay in manufacturing, and health professionals won't have their full supply when the vaccination program starts next week.
"Typically we would have more than what we currently have, which is about half for this year," said Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer Robert Strang. "But we know, I've seen the schedule, we are getting a number of shipments in the next couple of weeks that will bring us up to our full supply."
In a statement to CTV News, the Public Health Agency of Canada says that 90 per cent of the vaccines should be delivered by the end of October.
Strang says Nova Scotia has enough on hand for now.
"This is not a sprint, it's a two-month program," Strang said. "While we want all Nova Scotians to get vaccinated, they don't all need to rush out next week when it's first available."
The typical flu season starts in the fall and there have already been reported cases of influenza in Canada.
"Obviously it's not good," said Leah Vidito. "I do have asthma, so I have to get my flu vaccination every year or I can get pneumonia quite easily."
Erin Doret doesn't know why the manufacturer is not ready.
"I think honestly, before the flu season even starts, you'd think that they'd be prepared for it," Doret said. "If it's going to come eventually, why isn't it coming now? When I work in the hospital and I have two children at home, that are school-aged, I think it's important for them to have it on time."
While health officials say there will be enough to go around, it could come down to a triage situation in the beginning.
"Any time there's short supply for a while, you want to make sure that the people who need vaccines the most are the ones that actually get it," said pharmacist Curtis Chafe. "So first and foremost, young kids, seniors, those are the ones that really should take priority – and people with chronic medical conditions."