The flu vaccine is running low in Karachi. Pharmacists and shop owners say the vaccine is not being given to them and they don’t know the reason behind the shortage.
SAMAA Digital contacted various pharmacies and hospitals across the city on Wednesday.
One of the city’s premier drugstores, Kausar Medicos, is running out of vaccines at their MA Jinnah Road and Gizri branches.
A salesperson at the store said the shop was not available for the past few weeks.
Another major pharmacy, Time Medicos on Stadium Road, is also running out of flu vaccines. They don’t know when the drug will be available.
Al-Mustafa Medical Center, a popular shop in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Karachi, is also in short supply.
So far only Aga Khan University Hospital has been successful. But you need a doctor’s prescription from AKUH to buy it. The fee is Rs1,800. The main hospital pharmacy can be contacted at these numbers: 021-34861508 and 021-34861514.
The Indus Hospital spokesman told SAMAA Digital that he would check the availability of the shots and return.
Chughtai Lab has advertised the vaccine and asked people to be immunized earlier. But on Wednesday, a customer service representative on their helpline Aap Ki Sehat Ka (0311-1456789) notified SAMAA Digital that a flu vaccine is not available due to a shortage of supply. They say it may be available after two to three weeks.
Online pharmacies have not been shown to be helpful either. All drug brands are sold out at Dawaai.pk, DVAGO and Sehat.com.
Pakistan Online Medical Shop has two versions of the vaccine available:
Vaccine shortages coincide with the arrival of the flu season in Pakistan. Doctors recommend that people get the flu shot as soon as possible to make it easier differentiate between influenza and COVID-19.
This vaccine is made from an inactive virus and comes from eggs. People with egg allergies are advised not to drink it.
It is recommended for high-risk groups including the elderly, children, obese or people with immune disorders, those with chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes, heart and respiratory disease, pregnant women and healthcare workers.
Because the virus that causes influenza mutate pretty fast, it is important for people to get the 2020/2021 version of the vaccine.
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