HOLIDAYMAKERS are being warned to plan their travel jabs well in advance as the global yellow fever vaccination shortage continues.
Janet and Gabriel McDonagh, of Ferryhill Station in County Durham, spent months phoning around North-East surgeries in search of the vaccination ahead of a safari holiday to Nairobi this April.
The jab protects travellers from the deadly disease yellow fever and is needed for travel to and between countries in tropical Africa, South America and parts of the Caribbean.
Unforeseen manufacturing problems have led to a worldwide shortage and there are fears it could now affect football fans travelling to Brazil for the World Cup.
Eventually, Mr and Mrs McDonagh were directed to Marton Pharmacy in Middlesbrough, which is one of the only clinics in the region with the vaccine in stock.
“We just thought people should be made aware,” said Mrs McDonagh, 64. “Luckily, we started looking months in advance, but if people leave it to the last-minute they might struggle.”
A spokesperson from the vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, apologised for the inconvenience, adding: “I am unable to confirm when stocks of single-dose yellow fever vaccine will be available – I will update when this situation changes.”
Dr Dipti Patel, joint director at National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) commissioned by Public Health England, said extra doses of yellow fever vaccine had been imported into the UK under special license.
He said: “Some yellow fever vacination centres have chosen not to provide yellow fever vaccine due to the requirement to order large volumes but many of the larger travel clinics should have stock."
For more information visit nathnac.org/travel/news/yfvaccshortage2_270913.htm
To make an appointment at Marton Pharmacy call 07791548601.