While the government already had a rather large supply (1.3 million) of flu shots developed in Hungary, they also bought all of Sanofi’s reserves of the internationally developed vaccine, Vaxigrip Tetra.
24.hu writes that they know from the International Vaccine Centre, Budapest that the government bought all available flu shots developed by Sanofi. It is unknown how many shots were available, but the International Vaccine Centre guesses hundreds of thousands. Vaxigrip Tetra is the only shot that can be given to children under the age of three.
The production of Vaxigrip Tetra is a lengthy process and stocks are limited. Sanofi announced that they could not ship any more to Hungary. Therefore, the internationally developed vaccine will not be available in pharmacies or private vaccination centres.
The government already had a rather large supply (1.3 million) of Hungarian flu shots called 3Fluart. The government ordered 1.3 million Hungarian vaccines this year, same as last year. Now, their supply is supplemented with Sanofi’s vaccines. As only half of these were used in 2019, the government finds the amount sufficient for this year also. However,
if the majority of people take the government’s recommendation and actually get vaccinated, supplies might run short.
Many GPs recommend the imported vaccine, as the one developed in Hungary contains a whole virus, while other vaccines contain only a protein of the virus, which results in milder reactions after vaccination (like muscle soreness).
People can get the flu shots free of charge from 20 October at their GP’s office. Vaccination is strongly recommended, as the probability of death can be double for patients suffering from COVID-19 and flu simultaneously.
Scheduling the shots is difficult for GPs due to the stricter regulations in the current pandemic. They recommend scheduling an appointment beforehand.
Why vaccines are useful
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming season.