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Infectious Diseases

15 April 2014

Measles and polio vaccines in short supply across SA

South Africa is experiencing a shortfall in the supply of polio and measles vaccine, and in the Western Cape vaccines are being re-distributed between facilities to maintain availability.

Patients should be aware there is again a shortfall in the supply of polio and measles vaccine which has its origin in the supply available from the national supplier, Biovac Institute .

Western Cape Government Health is managing the available stock to reduce the impact as far as possible.

Read: Immunisation campaign for Joburg

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, says “In the Western Cape we are doing our best to manage the stock situation with the available stocks. We will keep our patients informed. In the meantime patients should contact their local healthcare facilities to enquire about the availability of stock. Should stock not be available immediately, please ensure that the child is immunised as soon as stock returns to normal.”

Unreleased vaccines

According to a letter from the Biovac Institute 1.8 million doses of measles vaccine will be delivered to the national department of health by the end of this month. More than three million doses of polio vaccines were not released by the supplier as the vaccine vial monitor was out of specification and could not be released. Replacement polio vaccine stock is scheduled to be released towards the end of May.

In the Western Cape, as an interim arrangement, vaccines are being re-distributed between facilities to maintain the availability of vaccines at all facilities and to reduce the impact as far as possible.

Minister Botha said: “We are monitoring this situation closely.”

Read more:
1.4 million children immunised: KZN
New vaccination plan aims to rid world of polio

Earlier measles vaccine better for kids

 

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