“These are pre-ordered a year in advance. At the time the country [both public and private] placed its orders, we had not anticipated this Covid-19 pandemic. This means that as it stands, our flu vaccines are understocked.”
Mkhize said that government had engaged with the pharmaceutical industry and it “became clear that the distribution of this vaccine has to be rationalised and prioritised”.
“We have therefore taken a decision that health workers in the country will be given priority in receiving the flu vaccine. This is precipitated by the fact that the country cannot afford to have them sick especially as the flu season approaches.
“This is one of the major lessons that we have learnt from countries that have experienced the Covid-19 pandemic. We therefore plead for the understanding of all South Africans who may unfortunately not have access to the flu vaccine this year.”