Shortage a non issue

The spokesperson from Cowra Amcal Pharmacy has put the towns good fortune down to vaccination.
The spokesperson from Cowra Amcal Pharmacy has put the towns good fortune down to vaccination.

While other towns and cities have been enduring a severe flu epidemic, Cowra has been largely spared from the illness, according to a spokesperson from a Cowra Pharmacy.

The spokesperson from Cowra Amcal Pharmacy has put the towns good fortune down to vaccination.

“It (the flu) hasn’t been a major issue in Cowra,” the spokesperson said.

“For the first time this year we offered flu vaccinations in the pharmacy and we had about 280 people have the vaccine.

“We tended to collect a lot of people who wouldn’t normally have gotten the vaccine, the working population who didn’t get the vaccine for free.

“They didn’t need a script so that may have helped to prevent the flu being a massive issue in town. But we need to stress that people should get the vaccine when flu season starts, to protect our elderly and our immunocompromised members of the community, it’s just a smart decision,” the spokesperson said.

Currently the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) lists three Tamiflu products on its current shortages list, and is advising their expected supply date is September 15.

It comes after more than 105,000 flu cases had been confirmed nationally, making it the most widespread epidemic in 15 years.

The Cowra Amcal spokesperson said that the shortage hadn’t effected them yet.

“There is a shortage of Tamiflu Australia wide at the moment,” the spokesperson said. “But we’ve only given out three boxes of Tamiflu all year so that’s been pretty good.

“I know that other towns have had bigger numbers receiving Tamiflu, we are also seeing cold and flu tablet sales aren’t excessive here, it’s been the normal sales we’d have every year.

“So I feel that the flu vaccine has helped prevent people becoming sick,” the spokesperson said.

Weekly reporting from NSW Health showed that Influenza activity was in decline but would remain high declining throughout September.

As of September 3 the 2017 diagnosis of Influenza had decreased to 608 cases with 172 people presenting to emergency departments by ambulance, above the usual September count.

Medical professionals are warning people to wash their hands regularly and cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze to help stem the spread of the virus.