Doctors and pharmacists will control the distribution of this season's influenza vaccine, or flu shot.
Doctors and pharmacists will control the distribution of this season's influenza vaccine, or flu shot.

Be prepared to wait for a flu jab as vaccine stalls

DELIVERY to GPs and chemists of government-funded and commercial influenza vaccines commenced on March 30, but delivery can take weeks.

The Health NSW website currently states it can take around three weeks for the State Vaccine Centre to send out all first influenza vaccine orders from the system, due to the large volume of orders received.

"Vaccination clinics should only be scheduled once vaccine has been received," the website states.

NSW Health urged everyone who can be vaccinated to do so, ahead of a possible convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and flu during winter.

"The best time to get vaccinated is from mid-April to May," a spokesperson said.

"Flu vaccines are also provided on a commercial basis through GPs and pharmacies, and may be offered at different times to the national program."

Pharmacists can now supply and administer a private market influenza vaccine to people from 10 years of age, following amendments to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 to lower the minimum age.

People aged 65 and over, all children aged six months to under five years, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and those with high-risk medical conditions can be vaccinated for free by GPs and Aboriginal Medical Services under the National Immunisation Program.