Vaccines for children are lacking, again

pharmacists and also distributors say there is a shortage of vaccines for new-borns, but the ministry does not know about any problem.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Some pharmacists from Bratislava and eastern Slovakia say they lack some vaccines, especially Infanrix hexa. It is used for new-borns younger than one year of age, to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B, and invasive Haemophilus influenzae infections. Several paediatricians warned against the lack of vaccines already last year, the Sme daily reported.

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After the daily pointed to the problem, the former management of the Health Ministry summoned several meetings at which they agreed on measures to secure enough vaccines. This, however, seems not to work.

“It has not been solved,” Ondrej Sukeľ, head of the Slovak Chamber of Pharmacists, told Sme.

Read also: Doctors lack vaccines Read more 

The pharmacists say that the lack of vaccines might have been caused by their re-export abroad.

While GSK Slovensko company, producer of the vaccines, says they do not have information about the problems with distribution of the vaccines, distribution company Unipharma told Sme that they reported the lack of vaccines.

Neither the State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) nor the Health Ministry have official information about the lack of vaccines as the orders from pharmacies are higher than the vaccines delivered by the producers.

“According to our information, Infarix hexa vaccine is imported to Slovakia in a sufficient amount, which satisfies the consumption of patients in Slovakia,” said Diana Madarászová, spokesperson for ŠÚKL, as quoted by Sme.

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In total 15,036 packages of the vaccines have been imported, of which only 13,896 have been used. Madarászová admitted they received information about some local shortages of vaccines.

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