But fears of COVID-19 have created an unprecedented demand for flu vaccines. The Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported Tuesday that pharmacies across Poland are unable to meet demand and have created waiting lists for future deliveries.
Tomasz Leleno, spokesman for the Polish Pharmacological Chamber, said he expects the situation to improve with new deliveries in late September and early October.
Health experts are stressing that the seasonal flu vaccine is especially important this year because reducing the number of flu cases helps preserve medical resources for treating COVID-19 patients.
“Both are respiratory illnesses and it's likely that they would put a strain on the same parts of the health care system at the same time,” the health minister of Poland's western neighbor, Germany, said Tuesday.
Jens Spahn said Germany has ordered 26 million doses of vaccine for this flu season, a significant increase compared to the 18-19 million doses the country normally buys.
“If we manage, together, to get the flu vaccination rate so high that all 26 million doses are actually used then I’d be a very happy health minister,” he said.
Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.
Follow AP's pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak