Seasonal Flu 2018 2019 Update

2018 2019 Seasonal Influenza Update

As you may be aware from national press coverage there have been problems this year with regard to the supply of flu vaccine in terms of stock volumes and staggered delivery times. This year is unusual in that there are two different flu vaccines being used depending on age group and vaccine availability.

In the UK flu usually starts later in December so November is a good time to have the vaccine but it is never too late in the season to have it.

At Bunbury, we are prioritising the use of the Fluad (3 flu strain plus extra adjuvant ingredient) version of the flu vaccine for our patients age 75 and over in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) and NHS England.

For those aged 75 and over only the Fluad (3 flu strain) vaccine is advised. Therefore, once our over 75 population have been offered Fluad, the remaining stock of Fluad will be made available to our 65-74 year old population. However, like many other surgeries, Bunbury is facing delays in the delivery of stocks and there may not be enough stock available for all of our 65-74 age group. At the present time we cannot give an assurance as to when our stock of Fluad might be allocated.

Where patients in the 65-74 age group are unable to obtain Fluad at their local surgery they have the option to visit their local pharmacy for this particular vaccine and the pharmacy can give it without charge on the NHS.  However, we understand pharmacies are in a similar position with varying stocks and staggered delivery dates.

The JVCI have said that in the event of a shortage of Fluad (3 strain) patients aged 65-74 may be given the Quad (4 strain) vaccine following a discussion with a GP as it is effective and Bunbury has sufficient stocks already in our fridge of this vaccine to cover demand.

The Quad vaccine deals with more strains of Flu than the Fluad vaccine and is licensed by its’ manufacturer for the 65-74 age group. The Fluad vaccine has been recommended as first choice for the more elderly patient population as it contains an adjuvant (extra ingredient) that makes the vaccine more effective for that age group. It improves the way older peoples immune systems take up the vaccine especially if you are over 75 years of age.

If you are aged 65-74 and wish to book an appointment now for the Quad vaccine we would ask that you contact the surgery without delay to book an appointment. Please let our reception team know that you are calling to book for the Quad vaccine so a GP can discuss the options with you.

Summary

 Age Group Under 65

Eligible patients (usually with a chronic disease) to book an appointment with our nurse team to receive the Quad vaccine. There is no need to wait or speak to a GP.

Age Group 65-74

Patients telephoning in will be called back by a member of our GP/ANP team to advise on seasonal flu vaccine options.

Age Group 75+

Appointments are being made for patients to receive the Fluad vaccine. Reception staff are phoning everyone in this age group. There is no need to wait or speak to a GP.