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New flu vaccine guidance for 2018–2019 winter season

For the 2018–2019 winter season, GP practices and pharmacy contractors should offer the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) for all patients aged 65 years and over, and the quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) for people aged 18 to 65 years in at-risk groups, according to guidance from NHS England and Public Health England.

The guidance, contained in a letter from NHS England’s national medical director, Stephen Powis, director of primary care, Arvind Madan, and Public Health England’s medical director Paul Cosford, states that GPs and pharmacy contractors should place orders for these vaccines by 29 March 2018.

It also recommends that GPs and pharmacy contractors review all orders for the 2018–2019 season and ensure these are in line with the evidence-based clinical view and confirm that their vaccine suppliers can meet demand.

According to the letter, there will be no change to the way that pharmacy contractors will be reimbursed for vaccines administered and if they encounter any difficulties from a manufacturer placing or amending an order, they should advise their local NHS England team.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204367

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