Flu Vaccination Service 2020/21
Flu Vaccination Service for 50-64 y/o Commenced on Tuesday 1st December – Update
Flu vaccinations for 50-64 year olds* started on Tuesday 1st December under the terms of the flu vaccination Advanced service.
In light of the current environment, it is important now more than ever for patients to get their flu vaccination this winter. So far this season, community pharmacies have already surpassed the number of patients vaccinated in previous years, having administered over 2 million doses.
However, there are still a large number of patients within the 50-64 cohort who have not yet received their flu vaccination. There may be an opportunity for community pharmacy to reduce pressure on the NHS and other healthcare services by targeting uptake in this group.
We encourage contractors to link with their local GP practices to ensure they are aware of the support available from community pharmacy in delivering this service.
If you do need further advice or support please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see below for useful resources:
* includes people who turn 50 by 31st March 2021.
Community Pharmacy Access to the Government Flu Vaccine Stock
This year DHSC has secured an additional supply of flu vaccines from four manufacturers. Most of these supplies are not stock that would ordinarily be available in the UK, as they are the result of vaccine suppliers running their production cycles for longer than they had originally planned. As a consequence of this, these extra vaccines will be delivered from November through to the end of December.
Increasing Flu Uptake Across Greater Manchester
GMLPC have had sight of national data outlining the uptake of flu vaccinations across Greater Manchester.
The data indicates that there is a low uptake in both at risk patients between the ages of 6 months and 64 years and pregnant women, with some areas showing a completion rate of as low as 30% for these groups.
This information clearly highlights a key opportunity for Community Pharmacy to support with maximising the uptake for these vulnerable patients.
NHSE/I have already sent out a letter to 6.1 million 50-64 year olds who have not yet been vaccinated, to encourage them to arrange their appointment via community pharmacy or GPs. We are hopeful that this communication will prompt an increase in requests.
To best support the agenda in your local area, we advise you to make contact with your local GP surgeries to encourage them to signpost eligible patients where possible.
In anticipation of being offered the COVID-19 vaccine, patients should be informed that there only needs to be a 7 day gap between the flu and COVID-19 vaccine.
We also remind you that there is a full range of promotional materials available on the PHE campaign resource centre which can be used to advertise in store.
If any further support is required, please let us know.
List of contractors delivering the 2020/2021 flu service
GMLPC and Bolton LPCs are currently working with GMHSCP in preparation for the 2020/21 Flu season.
We expect to see an increase in demand this year and therefore we are working collaboratively with CCGs, practices and localities to ensure patients can access the flu vaccination service this season.
In order to help the planning process, we have complied a list of contractors and have collected information about whether they intend to provide the 2020/2021 flu service
This information will be shared with the wider system so we can explore collaborative working practices.
To view the full list click here (updated 14/09/2020)
If you require contact details for the PCN leads then please contact email@example.com
DHSC Flu Vaccination Stock – Updated Guidance
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has updated its guidance on the use of DHSC procured flu vaccines by pharmacy contractors.
The change to the guidance now allows contractors to use the DHSC procured stock to vaccinate frontline health and social care workers through occupational health schemes or through private vaccination arrangements; previously, vaccination of such workers through private vaccination services, where the patient pays for the vaccination*, was not allowed.
Full information on the requirements for accessing the stock is available in the DHSC guidance found here. Contractors who want to access the stock are encouraged to read this guidance carefully.
NW guidance for flu immunisation in care homes
The PHE North West Health Protection Team have received a number of enquiries from CCGs and Primary Care regarding flu vaccination in care homes if residents are symptomatic or asymptomatic of covid-19.
North West NHS England-NHS Improvement Screening and Immunisation colleagues have raised this with the national team and have received guidance.
If a care home has an outbreak or cases of COVID-19, then any decision to vaccinate against influenza would need to be informed by a risk assessment.
The risk assessment should be carried out between the Infection Control Team, Care Home Staff and the provider of the flu vaccination service.
The risk assessment should take into account: –
- Number of symptomatic acutely unwell residents in the care home
- Number of positive symptomatic and positive asymptomatic residents in the care home
- Proximity of cases to other residents who require flu vaccination
- IPC measures in place and appropriate PPE available for immunisers
Please contact your local health protection team if additional support is required.
Flu Service resources for patients with learning disabilities
Flu resources specifically designed for patients with learning disabilities have been published. Use the links below to access the resources.
Pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service Support
Pharmacy Complete have released a series of four short videos (each under three minutes) to complement their free-to-download resources. Together they support engagement in and delivery of a safe and successful pharmacy flu vaccination service this season.
The videos and resources include practical guidance on getting ready, getting started, risk management and engaging with their community. These are continually updated inline with the latest public health guidance.
They have also released a Flu Champion course as a free to download product.
Please share with your contractors who may be thinking about how to run this important service and what they need to put in place to do so.
PSNC Briefing : Early guidance on the 2020/21 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service
This PSNC Briefing have provided early guidance for community pharmacy contractors and their teams on the 2020/2021
NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service in England. Information and resources to support the service
are also available at psnc.org.uk/flu and additional and updated resources will be added nearer the start of the
Contractor Notice: Flu Service Collaboration
GMLPC would like to remind you that both GPs and community pharmacy will be providing the Flu Service. We encourage all pharmacies to collaborate with local flu providers and ask patients whether or not they already had a flu jab booked at their GP practice before giving them the vaccine within the pharmacy.
After providing the vaccine to patients please complete the PharmOutcomes module as soon as possible. A notification will then be sent to the GP practice.
It is important to ensure that patients have a choice to decide where they wish to receive their flu vaccination.
PSNC have published further guidance in relation to communicating with GP practices during the Flu season. Please click here to view this.
Further Details on the National Flu Immunisation Programme
Further to the Annual flu letter published on the 14th May 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health England (PHE) and, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have jointly published a second letter to provide further information on the national flu immunisation programme for 2020/21.
The letter highlights the risk of possible co-circulation of COVID-19 and flu this winter. As a result, it reinforces the message that the vaccination programme will be essential to reduce pressure on the health and social care system this winter.
Contractors are advised to read the national flu immunisation programme update letter in full but key points are highlighted below.
- Eligibility criteria has been widened as announced by the Government previously;
- aim to increase provision in the most deprived areas and BAME communities;
- community pharmacies will be able to vaccinate both residential care/nursing home residents and staff in the home setting in a single visit;
- providers will need to keep up-to-date with Government guidance on COVID-19;
- DHSC has procured additional national supply of the adult vaccine; and
- to support the increased workload, key stakeholders will be consulted on options to expand the professions able to administer vaccinations.