Community pharmacies will be commissioned to administer flu vaccination to older people (aged over 65 years) and other high-risk groups next winter, and will be expected to provide the trivalent adjuvanted inactivated vaccine for some patients, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said it had received information from the DHSC on plans for a 2018–2019 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service, although it had not yet entered into formal negotiations with the department and NHS England about the service.
It added that the 2018–2019 community pharmacy service will include the use of adjuvanted trivalent inactivated vaccine in the older population.
Last summer, Public Health England admitted that the current vaccine had been less effective in the older people than in other age groups during the 2016–2017 flu season.
NHS England’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation concluded at its October 2017 meeting that adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine was highly cost-effective in those aged over 65 years because it is more effective than the non-adjuvanted or ‘normal’ influenza vaccines currently used in this age group. It advised that use of the adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine should be a priority for those aged 75 years and over.
The PSNC said prioritising the use of adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine in the over-75 years cohort will be expected in the 2018–2019 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service; pharmacy contractors will want to consider this when placing their orders for flu vaccinations for the 2018–2019 season, the PSNC said.