Covid-19 expected to push demand for flu vaccine; Shortage possible
Due to the coronavirus, public health institute RIVM expects a higher than usual demand for the flu vaccine. The RIVM therefore purchased more vaccines than normal, so the turnout can be 10 percent higher than normal. If more people than that want a flu shot, there may be a shortage.
The RIVM purchased as many flu vaccines as possible, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports said to NU.nl.
The flu shot does not protect against the coronavirus, but many countries worldwide called on their residents to get the flu vaccine to prevent a flu epidemic happening at the same time as the Covid-19 pandemic and thereby putting even more strain on the healthcare systems.
In the Netherlands, people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from the flu are invited to get vaccinated. These risk groups - people over the age of 60, people with respiratory diseases like asthma, and people with diabetes, among others - largely correspond to the groups at higher risk of Covid-19. People who are invited for a flu shot get the shot for free.