Via The Globe and Mail: H1N1 fears spur extra flu vaccine demand. Excerpt:
Canada will ship out more influenza vaccine this season than it has since the H1N1 pandemic swept the country four years ago, with nearly every province and territory placing late-season orders to satisfy a surprising surge in demand for the flu shot.
The 2013-2014 season marks the first time since the pandemic that Canada has been forced to track down extra vaccine, above and beyond a five-per-cent cushion built into the country’s contracts with vaccine makers, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“With this season – for whatever reason and we can only theorize – but there has been a lot more uptake, a lot more demand by Canadians,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer.
Only Nova Scotia and Nunavut declined to snap up more vaccine when Ottawa secured more than 400,000 extra doses earlier this month, according to an informal survey by The Globe and Mail.
Newfoundland and Labrador increased its vaccine supply by the largest amount – 62 per cent – by requesting an extra 80,000 doses on top of the 130,000 it ordered at the start of the influenza season. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were not far behind, increasing their stockpiles by 53 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.
Canada had already ordered approximately 10.8 million doses at the start of the season, about the same size of the order it placed at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season and more than any year since, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).