Flu shot shortage: Healthy people in their 60s asked to skip shot this year
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health called healthy people between the ages of 60 and 70 to not get the flu shot this year. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, there is more demand for the flu shot than usual and Blokhuis worries that there won't be enough for the entire target group, NOS reports.
In the Netherlands, people over the age of 60 and people with other medical issues are invited every year to be vaccinated against the seasonal flu.
The Ministry of Public Health already took into account that the flu shot would be in higher demand this year, due to the epidemic, and therefore ordered 520 thousand extra vaccines. But despite this, Blokhuis doesn't think there will be enough.
After getting advice from public health institute RIVM, Blokhuis therefore decided to call on the healthy part of the target group to not get vaccinated this year. He wants to give priority to people over the age of 70 and people with other health risks.
If any vaccines are left after these target groups were vaccinated, healthy people in their 60s will be invited to come get a shot.
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.