Manufacturing issues with reformulated influenza vaccines will impede this year’s National Seasonal Influenza Immunisation Program.
The Federal Department of Health has announced an inadequate supply of certain influenza vaccine brands will delay the conventional March 15 program roll-out.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to formulate the 2015 Southern Hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccine with two new A (H3N2) and B virus strains is responsible for the manufacturing delays.
While the third strain in the flu vaccine will remain the same A (H1N1) virus used previously, the double-strain change will cause delays, due to the extra time required to produce, test and distribute the reagents to formulate the vaccine.
This year’s launch of the influenza vaccine program will be subsequently delayed until ample supplies are available from at least two vaccine suppliers to help mitigate the risk associated with bioCSL’s Fluvax – indicated for those aged over five years – being incorrectly administered to young children.
Reportedly, the volume of vaccine supply and shortage of such, is not anticipated this year.
The Federal Department of Health will issue an update to the situation this month.