Measles vaccines back in stock, polio vaccines in short supply

Theuns Botha
Theuns Botha

Following the shortfall in the supply of polio and measles vaccines last month, I am pleased to announce that the measles vaccines are back in stock. The polio vaccine stock will also be available at clinics again at the end of June.

The short supply of vaccines is not a Western Cape problem, but one that is experienced by all provinces. The supply problem has its origins at the Biovac Institute, which is the supplier of vaccines to the National Department of Health.

However the Western Cape Department of Health believes it critical that this shortage is pro-actively communicated to citizens in the province and has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of these shortfalls.

“In the interim, we are managing the available polio stock to reduce the impact as far as possible.  The City of Cape Town and Cape Winelands District have distributed their available stock to other provincial facilities with stock shortages.”

Patients should contact their local healthcare facilities to enquire about the availability of polio vaccines.  Should stock not be available immediately, please ensure that the child is immunized as soon as supplies return back to normal.

According to the Biovac Institute more than three million doses of polio vaccines were not released last month as the vaccine vial monitor was out of specification.  The Western Cape Department of Health will continue to engage with the supplier and the national department and monitor this situation closely.

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