How long will you really have to wait for a flu shot?
NORTH Coast residents aged 65 and over are urged to remain patient as flu vaccination shipment delays hit general practitioners, as demand for flu shots skyrockets across the state.
There are unconfirmed reports of up to two months wait for a vaccine on a Northern Rivers medical centre.
NSW Health has alerted a delay for the seasonal influenza vaccination on its website stating, "Toll Group has experienced IT system issues which have affected the NSW State Vaccine Centre warehouse systems. Routine orders placed from May 1 are being processed manually and will be delivered as soon as possible."
North Primary Health Network population health co-ordinator Eva James confirmed there has this year been an unprecedented demand for flu vaccines right across the region, the state and the country.
While there is an undisclosed wait at some practitioners Ms James said it was great so many people were being so proactive about getting their flu shot.
"Our local general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and community pharmacies have been working tirelessly to get everyone vaccinated under what's very difficult circumstances at the moment," Ms James said.
"Get vaccinated if you can, and be patient if you have to wait. Your vaccine provider will ensure you receive the appropriate flu vaccine when stock becomes available."
NSW Local Health District Director Paul Corben said NSW Health had already distributed a record 2.71 million federally supplied doses of flu vaccine across the state since March 30 - a million more doses than distributed in the same period last year and enough vaccine for over a third of the population.
"NSW Influenza levels are down an extraordinary 98.3 per cent on figures for the same period last year due to social distancing measures and better hand hygiene however, NSW Health still recommends people get vaccinated against flu," Mr Corben said.
Ms James said there are four types of influenza vaccines available this year.
"For adults aged 65 years and over, the higher-immunogenicity adjuvanted quadrivalent influenza vaccine (Fluad Quad) is preferentially recommended over standard adult influenza vaccine," she said.
"This is only available through General Practice.
"An adjuvant is an ingredient added to a vaccine that helps strengthen the immune system's response to vaccination."
For more information visit Influenza vaccines for Australians.
More information on this year's strains here: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/flu.aspx
Two Northern Rivers GPs were declined the opportunity for comment and several were unreachable.