Nasal spray flu vaccine in short supply in Metro Vancouver
Health officials say there is still plenty of the injectable vaccine to go around
If you're hoping to get your children the nasal-spray flu vaccine, you better hustle, particularly if you live in Metro Vancouver.
After at three clinics in Vancouver told CBC News they have low or no supply, provincial health officials confirmed the nasal-spray flu vaccine will not be available for all children around the province,
Dr Monika Naus, the medical director for immunization programs at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, says this is the first season it's available provincewide and demand has outpaced the supply.
Based on similar programs in Alberta and Quebec, B.C. only ordered 80,000 nasal spray units, even though 170,000 kids are expected to get vaccinated.
"In jurisdictions where larger quantities have been purchased, they've been left with product at the end of the season.
Naus says the nasal spray costs twice as much as the injectable vaccine, and she stresses there is plenty of the injectable vaccine to go around.
Naus suspects quantities in Vancouver are being used up faster because the spray was offered here last year, while clinics outside of Vancouver may actually have a surplus.
"Some providers may have more than they actually need and other may have less than they actually need...it's logistically a complex process," she says.
Adding to the frustration pharmacists can no longer administer the spray. Naus says they were allowed during last year's pilot program, but the rules have been clarified, which means it has to be done at a doctor's office or clinic.