Commissioning of the 2018/19 Flu Vaccination Advanced Service

Commissioning of the 2018/19 Flu Vaccination Advanced Service

January 18, 2018

Although the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England have not initiated formal negotiations for 2018/19, PSNC has received correspondence from DHSC on some interim measures, which were considered at its Committee meetings last week. These included a paper from DHSC, marked confidential, on the commissioning of the 2018/19 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service.

We will provide further information on the proposals for the service as soon as possible, however, in an answer to a Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asked by Sir Kevin Barron MP (Chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group), Steve Brine MP, the pharmacy minister, has confirmed that:

  • the service will be re-commissioned in 2018/19; and
  • the community pharmacy service will include adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine, for use within the relevant patient cohort.

On 22nd December 2017, NHS England wrote to general practices and its local teams to provide guidance on the use of adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine for the 2018/19 season. This document summarises the recent advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the latest update in the Green Book on adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine, in order to support decisions on optimal choice of influenza vaccine for the 2018/19 season.

The document states:

The adjuvanted trivalent inactivated flu vaccine (Fluad®: Seqirus) was licensed late in 2017 and is available for use in the 2018-19 season. Based on available evidence, JCVI concluded at its October 2017 meeting that adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine is more effective and highly cost effective in those aged over 65 years and above compared with the nonadjuvanted or ‘normal’ influenza vaccines currently used in the UK for this age-group.

The JCVI has accordingly advised that the use of the adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine should be a priority for those aged 75 years and over.

It is therefore expected that the service documentation for the 2018/19 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service will reflect the prioritisation of use of adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine in the 75 years and over cohort of patients. Pharmacy contractors will want to consider this when placing their orders for flu vaccinations for the 2018/19 season.

The response to the PQ

Sir Kevin Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to encourage the take-up of the new enhanced influenza vaccine for the over-65s for the 2018-19 influenza season with GPs and pharmacies

Steve Brine: Public Health England has updated their advice in the Green Book chapter on influenza so that clinicians are aware of the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in relation to the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. In addition, NHS England wrote to general practitioners and clinical commissioning groups (via NHS England local teams) in December 2017 to provide an update on the use of the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine for 2018/19. This update will also be made available to community pharmacies as part of confirming that the Advanced Influenza Vaccination service has been recommissioned in early 2018. Community pharmacies are able to order relevant vaccines as detailed in the service specification, including the enhanced vaccine for patients within the relevant cohort.

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