The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new quality standard on increasing the uptake of flu vaccinations among people who are eligible.

The quality standard discusses the following priority areas for improvement:

  1. To use a range or combination of methods, such as phone, face-to-face, or social media communications, to invite people in eligible groups for flu vaccination. Commissioners are encouraged to review their services to make sure systems are in place to accommodate these different methods.
  2. To include information within invitations to vaccination appointments about people’s individual situation or clinical risk. This will help eligible people understand the benefits of having a flu vaccine and why getting flu could be particularly risky for them.
  3. To ensure health records are timely, accurate and consistent in order to improve the accuracy of uptake figures and reduce unnecessary invitations to those who have already had flu vaccinations.
  4. To ensure employers enable health and social care staff who are in direct contact with vulnerable people to have flu vaccinations, including allowing flexibility during shifts.

PHE has announced the beginning of the flu season.

They have asked for your support in promoting the flu vaccine – particularly for toddlers aged 2 and 3. Their latest data shows that uptake in this group is lower than the previous season due to the earlier delays of the children’s vaccine.

The delays have now been resolved. Parents should contact their GP for a free flu vaccine, which is just a quick and easy nasal spray, as soon as possible.

Flu can be horrible for little children and if they get it, they can spread it round the whole family.

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Parents of 2 and 3-year olds are urged to protect their children against flu, which can be a serious and fatal illness.

Those aged 65 and over, children and adults with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are also urged to get their free vaccine in the next few weeks, before flu begins to circulate widely.

The primary schools-based flu vaccination programme is once again underway. This follows a temporary pause in the ordering of the nasal vaccine, which was caused by delays from the manufacturer.

Primary school clinics will be rescheduled as soon as possible and children in high risk groups should visit their GP if their school session has been delayed, to ensure that they are protected early. GPs have now been advised to call in all eligible children for vaccination by early December.

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In addition, England’s chief nursing officer has issued a new appeal to NHS staff urging them to fulfil their “duty” to get vaccinated against influenza this winter. Dr Ruth May has written an open letter to frontline nurses and other health professionals working in the health system to urge them to work together to achieve a high level of coverage this season.

Also read our guest blog from the National Infection Service, Public Health England: Help us help you this winter by getting your flu vaccination

Provides information on the flu vaccination programme 2017 to 2018 for children, the vaccine and how to administer it.

This document on the flu vaccination and vaccination programme includes information on:

  • what flu is
  • the flu vaccine
  • dosage
  • administering the vaccine
  • advice on vaccinating children with an egg allergy
  • further resources

In the 2017/18 flu season, flu vaccine should be offered to all children who are aged two to eight years old (but not nine years or older) on 31 August 2017 and to all primary school-aged children in former primary school pilot areas. It should also be offered to children from six months of age in clinical risk groups.

The key changes to the childhood flu programme in the 2017/18 flu season are that:

  • Reception Year (children aged 4-5 years) will now be offered flu vaccination in their reception class, rather than through general practice
  • Children in School Year 4 (children aged 8-9 years) will be included in the programme this year as part of the phased roll-out of the children’s programme