Flu vac service: further information published

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England have today (21st July 2022), published further information regarding the addition of 50-64 year olds to the 2022/23 flu vaccination programme.

The change to the eligible cohorts for the vaccination programme was announced on Friday (15th July 2022), reversing an earlier decision to exclude the 50-64 year olds from eligibility.

Read more about the change and PSNC’s response to the announcement

In today’s announcement, DHSC and NHS England have:

  • provided further information on the availability of extra vaccine and how pharmacy contractors can order this;
  • provided updated guidance on the choice of vaccine for use in the three eligibility groups; and
  • said contractors will be able to start administering vaccines to 50-64 year olds NOT in a clinical risk group from 15th October 2022. The delayed start is to ensure the clinical prioritisation of those most at risk from flu.

Read NHS England’s updated flu vaccination reimbursement guidance

Read the Statement of Amendments to the Annual Flu Letter

In relation to ordering additional stock to meet the demand for the 50-64 years old cohort, DHSC has advised contractors:

To order additional stock directly from manufacturers for this additional cohort, based on vaccine coverage that was achieved over the last two years.

In 2021/22, community pharmacies vaccinated 2.2 million 50-64 year olds, however, they could be vaccinated from 1st September. The delay in the start of vaccination of the cohort to 15th October 2022 is likely to impact on the number of eligible patients that can be vaccinated; contractors will need to consider that when placing any orders for additional vaccine.

 

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