Care home residents a priority group in 2018-19 NHS flu jab programme

NHS England has issued flu vaccination guidance to GPs and pharmacists to encourage early vaccination among care home residents and staff.

People aged 75 years and over and those in care homes will be vaccinated under the NHS as a priority group, with a vaccine called Fluad, an adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV). Fluad has been chosen for care home residents aged over 65 years on the basis of strong clinical evidence that this is the most effective vaccine for this group, according to NHS England.

Due to supply issues – there is only one licensed aTIV in the UK – deliveries to GPs and pharmacies taking part in the NHS vaccination programme will receive vaccine supplies in three phases between September and November this year. This will ensure that vaccination is offered to everybody by December, when flu infection rates rise.

In the NHS programme, social care workers aged under-65 years will receive a different vaccine, a quadrivalent vaccine (QIV).

In a recent report on life expectancy in the UK, the King’s Fund cites flu as a cause of ‘extra’ deaths, particularly among older people

According to the King’s Fund, 2010 marked a turning point in long-term mortality trends in the UK, with improvements tailing off after decades of steady decline. In the 100 years to 2010–12, life expectancy increased by nearly three years every decade, but between 2011 and 2016 it increased by only 0.4 years for males and 0.2 years for females.

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