Gladstone has almost run out of whooping cough vaccine

Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse Adam Bosnjak needs the whooping cough vaccine for his customers.
Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse Adam Bosnjak needs the whooping cough vaccine for his customers.

CHEMISTS in Gladstone have been cleaned out of the vaccine for whooping cough and have no idea when they will be resupplied.

The maker of the whooping cough vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, has struggled to maintain adequate supply levels after demand increased for the vaccine Boostrix in 2015.

GSK stated on its website that there "may be intermittent, but temporary, stock outs" in Australia.

However, five out of nine pharmacies in Gladstone and Tannum Sands have not been able to stock Boostrix for more than six months.

Two pharmacies have been without Boostrix for one month, while another two ran out within the last two weeks.

It is understood demand for Boostrix skyrocketed after the death of a four-week-old baby from Perth in March last year.

The Director of Central Queensland Hospital, Dr Kerryn Coleman, said Gladstone Hospital had adequate supplies of the whooping cough vaccine but was reserved only for pregnant women and children covered under the childhood immunisation program.

Chemist Adam Bosnjak from the Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse said he ran out of stock this week.

"We had two come in on Monday but we haven't had a regular supply for six months," he said.

"It's coming through in drips and drabs and we have about 50 to 60 on back order."

Mr Bosnjak said it was the luck of the draw as to which pharmacy was resupplied first, but with a lengthy waiting list, he expected the product to run out the door.

Kellie Beckenham from Blooms the Chemist said the issue of undersupply was not confined to Gladstone.

"Since the death of the little fella in Western Australia there has been an increased demand around the country from people like parents and grandparents getting boosters," she said.

"And now they can't make them as fast as we can sell them."

GSK did not get back in time to provide comment.



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