Last month, Kate Adjei, manager at Nories Pharmacy in Horsham, West Sussex, told C+D she was having to turn patients away because her pharmacy had used all its stock of adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) Fluad, the only vaccine pharmacies in England are allowed to offer over-65s.
A spokesperson for NHS England told C+D on Wednesday (November 14): “GPs and pharmacists had more than enough time to order the vaccine and were advised in March that they have a crucial role explaining to patients that there is enough vaccine supply available”.
Seqirus – the sole manufacturer of Fluad – told C+D this morning that the final batch of Fluad vaccines will be delivered “by the end of this week”.
“Our second and third phase deliveries included extra stock that we were able to make available, taking total supply of Fluad across the UK this season to 9.8 million doses,” Seqirus added.
PSNC raises concerns from contractors
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) director of services Alastair Buxton told C+D it is in “regular discussions” with NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) in a working group discussing the Fluad vaccine.
The negotiator has “raised the feedback we have received from contractors and local pharmaceutical committees on the distribution of aTIV and the practical issues related to running the flu vaccination service this year”, Mr Buxton said.
“These discussions have led to various actions being taken by PHE and NHS England, including the issuing of an addendum to the flu vaccination service patient group direction and the development of a PHE leaflet for patients who need to return for aTIV at a later date,” he added.
Mr Buxton acknowledged the decision to use aTIV for over-65s had “led to complexity” in the delivery of the service this season, despite it being “clinically justifiable”.
“Community pharmacy teams are continuing to work hard to ensure that these difficulties do not reduce the ability of patients to get vaccinated and I thank them for their ongoing endeavours, which put the needs of the patients first.”