Children first dibs, as MMR vaccine shortage affects BOP

Children are being given priority when it comes to MMR vaccines.

This comes as Bay of Plenty health agencies are advising that the region is experiencing extremely limited supply of the vaccine.

A stocktake completed Monday has shown there are about 380 vaccines across all general practices under the Western and Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliances -- with about 800 on order.

Due to this priority has been placed on vaccinating young children already scheduled for their routine jabs at 15 months and four years old, with everyone else asked to make a request.

About 52,000 vaccines are expected to arrive in New Zealand within the week, but it’s not yet clear when they will be available for patients in the Bay of Plenty.

General Practice Services Manager Phil Back says a strong case has been put forward to get more stock directed to the region.

Meanwhile tensions have flared at general practices with patients demanding to be vaccinated. But, Mr Back is asking for calm and patience.

Sam Gardner