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Following on from our newsletter of 29 July 2020 highlighting barcoding as a quick and efficient method of administering flu clinics Public Health England on 5 August 2020 published updated details of the national flu immunisation programme for 2020/21.

Details of the programme can be found here.

The salient points to note are:

Flu vaccinations, subject to contractual negotiations, will additionally be offered to:

  1. Household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List. Specifically, those sharing accommodation on most days over the winter where close contact is unavoidable.
  2. Children of school Year 7 age in secondary schools (aged 11 on 31 August 2020).
  3. Health and social care workers. This should be provided by their employer.
  4. Subject to vaccine supply 50 to 64-year-old group phased over November and December.

An inactivated vaccine may be offered to children whose parents refuse live attenuated influenza vaccine.

Trusts will be asked to offer vaccinations to pregnant women attending maternity clinics and clinically at-risk eligible patients attending in and out patient appointments.

In addition to GP practices being able to vaccinate in the residential/care home residents and staff registered at the practice, the Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Advanced Service Framework will be amended to allow community pharmacies in the home setting in a single visit to vaccinate both residential care/nursing home residents and staff to enable greater uptake of the vaccine.

Supply & Demand

The intended demand for the vaccine just from the summary above will be high and it will be dependent on providers to order flu vaccines direct from manufacturers. Additional supplies have been procured and further details on how and when these additional supplies can be accessed will be published in September.

The letter provides details of additional supplies of the two vaccines for the children programme and the method of accessing these.


Across all the intended target groups (save only the 50 to 64-year olds) the uptake ambition is a minimum of 75% with frontline health and social care workers 100%.


The Government has published an updated leaflet on 6 August to assist patients


The scale and short period to provide the flu vaccine to the expanded group which may possibly be further expanded for over 50-year olds will require planning and collaborations with other providers on a scale never seen before.