8 Nov 2016

Pacific free flu vaccine delivery stopped

12:08 pm on 8 November 2016

United Airlines has discontinued the service of shipping free flu vaccines to the Pacific Islands.

The Pacific Island Health Officers Association has confirmed the news to its members.

The Financial News reports that the association provides a regional voice for the six US-associated Pacific islands in their development of sustainable and effective health systems.

United Airlines said it has stopped the annual practice, started in 2007 by Continental Airlines, of providing free shipping to member states of excess US influenza vaccines.

United threatened to stop shipping vaccines in 2012 for economic reasons but after pleas from medical professionals, they reinstated the deliveries that same year.

Guam, the CNMI, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and American Samoa have benefited from the programme in the past.