Additional anti-flu vaccines might come in December in Latvia

This season, anti-flu vaccines are already in deficit and would not be available to everyone, but there might be an additional supply in December, Ilze Viņķele, Minister for Health told Latvian Radio November 4.

The Minister said that currently influenza vaccines are the “highest deficit product”, and not only in Latvia. But retailers are hoping for additional deliveries in December.

If they succeed in obtaining flu vaccines in December, the minister calls on people to take advantage of the opportunity and to vaccinate, and it makes sense to do so, because the flu can also circulate in March.

Additional influenza vaccines cannot be produced quickly because their production is a long process and they should be ordered more than a year in advance.

This year, the country provided 90,000 flu vaccines that would be available as state paid medicine for risk groups, and that is 3 times more than the previous year when the country purchased 30,000 vaccines.

Vinkele said that the Ministry is already planning the purchase of vaccines for next year, and the Ministry of Finance is promising that it will be funded. It is planned to purchase significantly more vaccines next year.

The Minister also said that the procedures for people to receive state-paid vaccines might change – currently the state orders them, and they come to pharmacies, while people with a prescription buy them themselves. In future, vaccines could be passed on to GPs' practices, which would guarantee that seniors and other risk groups that the state compensates won't have to compete with the rest of the population when buying them at pharmacies.

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