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Colds and flu

Question
Posted by: Michael Stow | 2020/03/23

Q.

Flu vaccines, schedule and funding

I had a flu shot today (Vaxigrip Tetra), NP 3000826001) at a cost of R136.39 which was not covered by Discovery on my Executive Plan. Please can you clarify: (1) What are the different flu shots available in South Africa? (2) Which are covered by medical aid Preventative Care benefits? (3) Are any available through public health care, eg government clinics? (4) what is the medicine "schedule" in South Africa of these vaccines - is it lower than schedule 3, ie can be dispensed by pharmacy? I've heard it said (from Sanofi) that there are 1.1 - 1.5 million vaccines available in total this year, for a SA population of 60 million. Is that correct? Also, I understand that some 10 million people got flu last year, resulting in up to 11,000 deaths. The elderly, those with chronic diseases, smokers, HIV and cancer patients apparently are most at risk. Smaller pharmacies are sold out, and i understand the wholesalers have already sold their stock. It would be useful to know the truth of all the above, so the families can know what their options are.

Expert's Reply

A.

Flu expert
- 2020/03/27

Hi Michael


I had the following communication from Medscheme about what they cover:
  • Influvac® 0.5ml (NAPPI code: 732826)
  • Vaxigrip® Single Dose 0.5ml pre-filled (NAPPI code: 813338)
  • Vaxigrip® Single Dose 0.25ml pre-filled paediatric (NAPPI code: 836591)
 Please note that the newly launched Vaxigrip Tetra® (NAPPI code: 3000826 VAXIGRIP® TETRA Single dose 0.5ML) will NOT be reimbursed.

I have also copied this link from the internet, which is the strategic influenza virus plan 2017  - 2021 and will also supply you with some more information. 

http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/component/phocadownload/category/339-national-influenza-policy-and-strategy-plan?download=1900:national-influenza-policy-and-strategy-plan

Good luck and stay safe

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