Urgent restock of flu vaccines

The federal government denied the run on influenza vaccine could have been predicted, despite pleas for at-risk groups to vaccinate early, following a severe flu season in North America.

A health department spokeswoman said estimates of seasonal vaccine demand, averaging 3.7 million doses each year, were provided to suppliers in October after a decision was made on the composition of the vaccine.

“The impact of the northern hemisphere influenza season was not known at the time estimates were provided to manufacturers,” she said.