Guidance published on accessing DHSC flu vac stock

Guidance published on accessing DHSC flu vac stock

November 2, 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today (2nd November 2020), published guidance on how community pharmacies will be able to access supplies of flu vaccines procured centrally by the Government.

As previously communicated, the stock procured by DHSC will start to be delivered in November and supplies will also be received in December.

The Department has worked with PSNC to develop a process for accessing the stock, giving consideration to the supply route via which pharmacies normally receive their flu vaccines and seeking to limit the impact on the business as usual supply chains. In developing the process, DHSC has also needed to protect and mitigate the risks of unintended use, as the stock procurement is a taxpayer funded programme.

Commenting on the agreement for pharmacy access to the DHSC stock, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, PSNC said:

“We are pleased that a process for pharmacy access to the DHSC stock has now been put in place, but it is regrettable that DHSC took much longer than expected to publish the details. In addition to NHS use, the stock will also be available for use within occupational health schemes for frontline health and social care workers.

“Where there is sufficient DHSC stock available later in the season, the agreed process may also allow use of that stock for wider occupational health and non-NHS services.”

Use of the stock

In the guidance, DHSC segments potential use the vaccines into three groups, with current use of the stock only allowed for Group A and B patients:

Group A – Patients and frontline social care workers as set out in Appendix A of the Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service specification, and frontline health and social care workers through private vaccinations or occupational health schemes.

Group B – 50-64 year olds, under the NHS Advanced service, from 1st December 2020.

Group C – All other patients under private provision or occupational health schemes. Pharmacies will only be able to use the DHSC procured stock for this group of patients if surplus stock is available and DHSC notifies pharmacies that this is permissible.

Ordering the stock

The stock is available to purchase from pharmaceutical wholesalers and pharmacies will pay for flu vaccines in the usual way.

Stock can currently be ordered from AAH Pharmaceuticals, Alliance Healthcare Distribution, DE Group, Lexon UK and PHOENIX Healthcare Distribution.

What stock is available?

Supplies of QIVe, QIVc and aTIV vaccines is available and wholesalers will require pharmacies to complete a declaration before they can access the DHSC stock.

Further information

Full information on the requirements for accessing the stock is available in the DHSC guidance, which all contractors who want to access the stock should read:

Read the DHSC guidance


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