Government announces 2 million more flu shots to relief of Echuca GPs and pharmacists

By Daneka Hill

Echuca GPs and chemists are struggling to meet a record-breaking demand for the flu shot as the Federal Government this week released two million extra doses of the vaccine.

Rich River Health Group practice manager Mike Mangiameli welcomed the news.

“We are always running out but we manage to hold on until the next delivery,” Mr Mangiameli said.

“The stupid thing is the government only gives you 50 vaccines at a time, and we can’t re-order until we’ve received the last delivery.”

Amcal Echuca pharmacist Elias Kostoglou said his pharmacy currently had no flu vaccines available and more than 100 residents were on a waiting list.

But he said this wasn't the first time the pharmacy had run out.

“There has been a huge demand and we are hoping to get more this week or next week,” Mr Kostoglou said.

“This year we are getting smaller batches with each delivery.

“A lot of the people we are seeing have never had a flu shot before – the demand is coming from places making the flu shot mandatory.”

Mr Kostoglou said his team had immunised more than 1000 people so far.

The government has warned catching the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could be “life threatening”, which coupled with mandatory need for people to provide proof of flu vaccination to enter certain locations, has fuelled the spike in demand.