National Flu Vaccination programme for 2018/2019
Following advice for Public Health England, this year, three types of flu vaccine will be used in the national flu programme.
This will benefit patients by ensuring that they have the most suitable vaccine that gives them the best protection against flu.
The three vaccines are:
o Adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) - This is licensed for people aged 65 years and over. Based on strong clinical evidence, this vaccine is being recommended as the most effective vaccine for this group of vulnerable patients.
o Quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) - This is recommended for children aged from 6 months to 2 years and in adults from 18 years to less than 65 years of age who are at increased risk from flu because of a long term health condition.
o Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) - This is a nasal spray and is licensed for children and young people from 2 years old to less than 18 years of age. The age groups targeted in England for this vaccine in 2018/19 are two and three year olds (through their GP surgery) and school aged children in reception class through to Year 5 (through schools). QIV can be used for this group is the LAIV vaccine is not suitable. .
What does this mean for our patients?
As Seqirus are the only manufacturer for the national supply of the vaccine for patients aged 65 and over, in order to manage supply and demand fairly, they have planned deliveries to UK customers in three phases between September and November this year. The impact to the practice and our patients is that we will not have delivery of all our vaccines to run our usual Saturday morning clinic where in the past, we have vaccinated up to 900 patients in three hours! Instead, we will have to plan the appointments more carefully to ensure the groups most at risk, receive their vaccines first. We feel we will also have to split the age groups to minimise the risk of administering the wrong vaccine, particularly where we are planning vaccinations in large numbers.
Anyone who qualifies for a free flu vaccine is determined to be at risk, but for some groups, the risk is greater. For example, patients with a chronic disease or living in a care home setting. In light of this, we will be inviting these patients to participate in the first vaccination phase where possible.
However, we can reassure patients that we aim to have as many of our at risk patients vaccinated by the end of November, ideally before flu starts circulating.
We will be advertising clinic dates as soon as we have delivery dates and we would encourage you to book your appointment as soon as these become availbale. We will keep you updated by flyers, posters/media screen and on the practice website. We may also use the text messaging service for some patient groups.
At Risk Groups:
- chronic respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), severe asthma, bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease or motor neurone disease
- weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
- people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long stay care facilities
Patients aged 70 to 79 this year are recommended to be immunised to prevent shingles.
if you are in the at risk groups for flu, you may also be entitled to a free vaccination against pneumonia.
If you are allergic to eggs you should not have the influenza vaccine (please discuss this with your clinician).
The vaccines are free to all who qualify.