As early as March 2020, the New Zealand Medical Association was raising a shortage of supply of the flu vaccine. In April, presenting to the Epidemic Response Committee, Dr Baddock, Chair of the NZMA said: “The flu vaccine supply issue was a complete debacle, there's absolutely no doubt about that."
“Because flu vaccines were held back for those who were more vulnerable, it meant GPs were unable to access them - even though they served many who were vulnerable.”
At that time, the Prime Minister disagreed with the NZMA and other frontline health workers. However, the PWC investigation into the influenza vaccine supply chain has identified significant flaws and weaknesses across the vaccination programme. These include policy decisions, supply, communication,planning, prioritisation and robust mechanisms for distribution, vindicating the NZMA's raising of the issue with the Government and Ministry of Health officials.
When the Ministry began to manage the supply and distribution more closely, the issues for general practice went away.
For further information:
Please contact Diana Wolken
NZMA Communications Manager
027 553 5545