Some northern hemisphere countries are having trouble obtaining additional flu vaccines amid increased demand, but health workers and elderly should be prioritised in case of any shortages, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
“Some countries are having trouble sourcing additional vaccine,” Ann Moen, WHO chief of influenza preparedness and response, told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, declining to name any.
Less flu virus is circulating in the southern hemisphere’s current flu season, including in Australia and South Africa, partly due to physical distancing and travel restrictions in place against COVID-19, she said.
“If this follows suit and influenza also is low circulation in the northern hemisphere, we may see less infections. And we also hope to see less infections due to the very high uptake of influenza vaccine,” she added.
The Northern Hemisphere contains North America, the northern part of South America, Europe, the northern two-thirds of Africa, and most of Asia.