In the midst of the vaccination campaign, many stockouts were identified in French pharmacies.
Even though France is hit hard by the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, and elderly and vulnerable populations are particularly affected by the Covid, pharmacies deplore stock-outs of the flu vaccine.
It is the Union Syndicale des Pharmaciens de Pharmacien (USPO) which warned, Sunday, of stockouts of doses of influenza vaccines due to “a lack of responsiveness of laboratories”. A position contested by the Ministry of Health, which ensures that, “in the most affected regions, we would arrive at 18 to 20% of pharmacies out of stock”, according to the figures of the order.
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“Last year, 11 million doses were dispensed by pharmacies,” said Pierre-Olivier Varlot, vice-president of the USPO, during a union webinar organized on Sunday. This year, the government had planned an even more ambitious vaccination campaign, “in view of the craze in the southern hemisphere,” he said, with 13 million doses distributed.
Onset of the flu epidemic at Christmas
After a survey of its members, the second trade union in the profession estimates that between 70 and 90% the number of pharmacies which no longer have any stock, just ten days after the opening of the vaccination campaign.
For its part, the Ministry of Health ensures that it remains vigilant while reminding that the flu epidemic usually does not appear until around Christmas. Still, in this particular year, and in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, pharmacies have seen an unprecedented influx of customers come to pick up their precious flu vaccine.
In ten days, pharmacies have “dispensed 7 million doses and vaccinated 2 million people,” said the USPO.