A “small, unexpected delay in the final stages of manufacturing” at its plant in France means 40% of the first phase of its deliveries of the quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) will be up to two weeks behind the date given to customers, it said this afternoon (September 27).
“We have informed all customers who have ordered our vaccine directly from us, along with all large pharmacy chains, and as always we are working closely with all our stakeholders across Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to ensure that any operational changes are minimised,” Sanofi told C+D.
“We are doing everything we can to expedite deliveries and minimise the time doses spend in our warehouses before distribution,” it added.
Community pharmacies are able to order three different vaccines for the 2019-20 season: the standard egg cultured quadrivalent inactivated vaccine (QIVe) for 18-64-year olds; the cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc) for nine-year-olds and upwards; and the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) vaccine, Fluad.
Deliveries of Sanofi's QIV were already scheduled to be phased over the 2019-20 flu season, with the final batch delivered by the end of November.
Nat Mitchell, pharmacist and director at JWW Allison and Sons pharmacy in Cockermouth, Cumbria told C+D that while he has not ordered any vaccinations from Sanofi this year, “a few of the companies I deal with have had delays”.
“But that hasn’t caused me any [problems] – Mylan have delivered both of theirs.”
While it “costs a bit more” to order from multiple suppliers, “at least you don’t have any delays”, he added.
Indira Panchal, owner of Meiklejohn Pharmacy in Bedford, told C+D she had opted to order all her vaccinations from Fluad manufacturer Seqirus.
While the company suffered supply issues last flu season, Mrs Panchal said she received all of her stock two weeks ago.
Read today’s feature on how a pharmacy chain took their vaccinations to local businesses to boost their private flu service revenue