Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

November 6, 2017

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2017/18. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. Are all people with asthma (aged 18 years or over) eligible for an NHS flu vaccination under the national Flu Vaccination Service?
No. People with asthma are entitled to an NHS flu vaccination if they have asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of inhaled or systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission as stated in the service specification. Therefore, patients who are only prescribed a short-acting β2 agonist, for example, salbutamol to manage their asthma are not entitled to an NHS flu vaccination unless they fall into another eligible group.

Q. Is a patient with epilepsy eligible for an NHS flu vaccination under the national Flu Vaccination Service?
No. Epilepsy is not considered a high-risk group for flu; therefore, patients with epilepsy are not entitled to an NHS flu vaccination unless they fall into another eligible group.

Q. Do I need to notify anyone if I am unable to provide the service over the full hours for any reason?
No. However, the service specification does state that a pharmacy contractor should seek to ensure that the service is available throughout the pharmacy’s contracted opening hours therefore we would recommend you document the reasons why the service could not be provided over the full opening hours of the pharmacy. This means if NHS England query why you have not been able to provide the service on certain days or times, you have the reasons documented.

Q. Can the inactivated flu vaccine be given at the same time as immunoglobulins and other vaccines?
Yes, the inactivated influenza vaccine can be given safely and effectively at the same time as, or at any interval before or after, any immunoglobulin or other vaccine (whether live or inactivated). The vaccines should be given at separate sites, preferably in different limbs but if given in the same limb, they should be given at least 2.5cm apart.

Q. Can I administer flu vaccinations at individual patient’s homes (not care homes) or at workplaces?
No, that is not currently permitted.



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