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  • DHSC gives go ahead for boys to receive HPV vaccine

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    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:22
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  • Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

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a flu vaccination imageFebruary 1 2018

Practices should not place any flu vaccine orders for the 2018-19 season until further guidance is issued on February 5, NHS England has advised.

In a letter to pharmacists and GPs, NHS England explained it is “currently reviewing the clinical evidence, including advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and cost-effectiveness data from Public Health England in respect of influenza vaccines for 65 year olds and over and those in at risk groups who are under 65 years old.

“We will provide definitive guidance to general practice and community pharmacies on influenza vaccine for the 2018-19 season on Monday 5th February 2018. No further orders for influenza vaccine should be made and no provisional orders should be converted to confirmed orders until this national guidance is issued for adoption.”

A copy of the letter has been uploaded to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee website.

PHE has also issued advice in response to questions from health professionals about re-calling eligible patients and health care workers who have already received trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) to give them quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) in addition. “This is unlikely to be of benefit and recall of such vaccinated individuals is not recommended,” said PHE.

It has also issued a summary of data to support the choice of vaccine for adults in primary care, saying it “strongly supports the preferential use of adjuvanted trivalent vaccine in older people. Based on current list prices for adjuvanted and standard vaccines, such a programme is likely to be highly cost effective. The JCVI advised that use of aTIV in those aged 65 years and over would be both more effective and cost-effective than the non-adjuvanted vaccines currently in use.”

In addition: “Although quadrivalent vaccine offers the potential to provide broader direct protection against influenza B, the existence of a successful childhood programme using quadrivalent LAIV is likely to offer indirect protection by reducing transmission. On top of the childhood programme, the benefits of QIV in older people are limited.

“The priority groups where QIV should still be considered are therefore adult at-risk-groups, including pregnant women. Although formal analysis of the benefit of QIV in healthcare workers has not been conducted, this group are also likely to derive some benefit in those years when the circulating influenza B strain is not well matched to the B strain in TIV.”

Links:
NHS England letter (via PSNC website) 
PHE statement
PHE summary of vaccine data   

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