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Flu programme dates announced but pharmacies to source Sanofi alternatives

NHS England (NHSE) has revealed the autumn adult flu vaccination programme start date, while instructing pharmacies to secure alternatives to one unavailable vaccine.  

NHS flu vaccinations for most adults “will commence October 3”, NHSE announced in a primary care bulletin sent to pharmacies yesterday (Jun 13).

The news comes after the commissioner last month confirmed that pregnant women and children will be offered the free vaccine from September 1.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccination fees stagnate despite negotiator pleas

It said that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) had “not yet advised what will be required of a possible COVID-19 vaccination programme beyond August 31” this year.

But it added that “providers should plan for any COVID-19 campaign to start alongside the main flu campaign”, with eligible cohorts to be confirmed following JCVI advice.

 

Vaccine "not available"

 

The update also revealed that one flu vaccine, the recombinant Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIVr) manufactured by Sanofi, “will not be available for the 2024/25 flu season”.

It added that “providers are responsible for securing alternative supplies of vaccine”.

They “should order first line vaccines where possible and will be reimbursed by NHSE in the usual way,” it said.

Read more: ‘Late’ but ‘welcome’: Flu programme start dates announced

The government published an updated list of flu vaccines marketed in the UK for the 2024/25 season earlier this week (June 12).

Last month, NHSE also confirmed that the fee paid to pharmacies for COVID-19 vaccinations will remain at £7.54.

The negotiator said that the decision to stagnate fees is “despite further counter-arguments that CPE has put forward”.

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