On 3 August, the Scottish Chief Medical, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Officers issued a letter providing details of the arrangements for the 2017-18 seasonal flu vaccination programme in adults aged 65 years and over and those under 65 with ‘at-risk’ health conditions. A separate letter covers the childhood programme.
The key points of note for the seasonal flu programme are as follows:
- there are no changes to the clinical at-risk groups;
- there is no egg-free flu vaccine available in 2017-18 as it has been discontinued by the vaccine manufacturer. A low-egg content flu vaccine is available;
- uptake targets for both the 65 years and over group, and the under 65’s ‘at-risk’ population will remain at 75%, in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) targets;
- pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy, remain eligible for, and are recommended to have, flu vaccination.
This will be the second year of the centralised arrangements for ordering, and taking delivery of, the seasonal flu vaccine. Supplies of the vaccine have been procured centrally, and OM Movianto will take orders from each GP practice and then distribute the vaccine direct. This arrangement only applies to the supply of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines to GP practices for patients over the age of 65 and those under 65 with ‘at-risk’ health conditions.
The Letter (SGHD/CMO(2017)11) can be accessed at http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/cmo/CMO(2017)11.pdf.