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Recommended vaccines for 19-20 seasonal flu vaccine programme

Please find attached a letter from NHS England providing the definitive guidance on which vaccines to use for the 2019/20 flu season. Please read the attachment but the headlines are:

Vaccines for those aged 6 months to 17 inclusive: as has been the case for the last few years all vaccines for this age group (nasal Fluenz as well as QIV) will be available to be ordered free of charge to practices through Immform.

Vaccines for those in risk groups aged 18-64: two types of vaccine are appropriate; the quadrivalent inactivated vaccine (QIV) grown in eggs now called QIVe, this is the same vaccine as was used this year for this group; and you can also use the new quadrivalent cell grown vaccine (QIVc) called Flucelvax Tetra.

Vaccines for those aged 65+: two types of vaccine are appropriate; the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) that was used for this group this year; and you can also use the new quadrivalent cell grown vaccine (QIVc) called Flucelvax Tetra for this age group.

The three types of vaccine for adults mentioned above (aTIV, QIVe and QIVc) will all be reimbursed by NHS England.

There is a further new vaccine, high-dose trivalent vaccine (TIV-HD). Whilst this is licensed for use for those aged 65+ the cost of the vaccine means that this vaccine will not be reimbursed and therefore you should not be using it. There is a helpful table in the attachment that makes this clear.

We would ask that every practice consider both its 18-64 at risk population and its 65+ population and ensure that you have placed orders for an appropriate vaccine for at least the proportion of each cohort that you expect to immunise next year.

Given the difficulties of the current flu season it is likely that there will be some kind of national assurance process around what practices have ordered for next year. We will try to minimise what is asked of practices but please bear with us if we come back to you with some information requests about your ordering.

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