Public misled over vaccine shortage

TVNZ reports:

The is under pressure over whether it misled the New Zealand public about this year’s flu vaccine.

Officials have repeatedly denied there was a shortage, but a six-month investigation by 1 NEWS has uncovered the ministry knew about it – and even warned the Government – despite telling the public a different story.

emails, released under the Official Information Act, reveal a number of conversations explicitly discussing low stock levels and struggles to fulfil orders.

That includes a  staff member emailing the ministry saying on April 29: “…have you been briefing the Minister’s office on the flu vaccine stock levels, including that we are very low on stock now until the next delivery?”

“Yes we have been,” the ministry replied.

The next day an email to the ministry said: “I am not sure there will even be enough stock to over last nights’ orders.”

It came as Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield encouraged Kiwis to get the vaccination on April 29, and Finance Minister assured there was availability on May 1.

However, there were also waves of emails to the ministry from doctors struggling to get their hands on stock.

This is just the same as with PPE gear etc. The Ministry says no problems or shortages and all the front line health workers are saying they can’t get hold of it.

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