Following the resurge of COVID-19 across Pakistan, vaccines to ward off the winter flu around the world has gone short from the markets in the country due to increase in demand, doubling the risk of global pandemic.
Many governments around the globe including United States and Europe have encouraged citizens to get shots of flu vaccine this year.
The main motive behind the move was to inoculate earlier than usual and cover a bigger portion of the population to reduce the burden on health services.
However, in developing countries including Pakistan, the availability of such vaccines would be limited, that could double coronavirus threat and the flu.
As per Islamabad’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) spokesperson Dr. Waseem Khawaja, “Flu shots were not available this year which has resulted in increased influx of seasonal flu patients.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani, head of planning and development at the health department in Islamabad, describing the non-availability of the vaccine was due to “exceedingly greater demand from manufacturers by developed countries this year in the face of COVID-19."
“The awareness about flu vaccine also increased worldwide due to coronavirus and people would like to get flu shots to avoid flu that may make their immune systems compromised,” Durrani was quoted by Arab News.
He said top manufacturers of the flu vaccine, Sanofi and Abbott, had both not provided it to Pakistan so far this year.
“But lately we came to know China has developed a [flu] vaccine and they are willing for its distribution in Pakistan," Durrani said. "That may arrive by the end of this month [December]."