Flu Vaccination Advanced Service
Please refer to the Community Pharmacy England Flu Vaccination Hub here for the latest news and updates on the 2023/24 service.
It was initially announced that this season’s Flu Vaccination Programme would not officially commence until October 2023, however, this has now been brought forward to 11th September 2023, as announced in NHS England’s letter, published on the 30th August 2023, here.
Please also refer to the Community Pharmacy England update below:
Key Documents for 2023/24
The annual flu vaccination programme letter for the 2023/24 season was published on the 25th May 2023 – see here. The annual flu vaccination programme letter confirms the eligible cohorts for the forthcoming season and the vaccines which will be reimbursable. It is important that all contractors that provide the Flu Vaccination Service review the contents of this letter and use the information contained within to inform their ordering of flu vaccine for the season ahead.
The Government has confirmed that 50 to 64 year olds, not at clinical risk are not included as a cohort for the 2023-24
The service specification (published 4th August 2023) describes the requirements for provision of the service and is essential reading for all pharmacists providing the service.
The national PGD provides the legal framework for administration of a flu vaccine, (by appropriately trained practitioners), under the 23/24 service. Pharmacy contractors providing the service must ensure that all pharmacists providing the service have read and understood this latest version of the PGD, (valid from 1st September 2023), and have completed the practitioner declaration to confirm this, which should then also be signed off by the Authorising Manager. These steps MUST be completed before an individual practitioner is authorised to administer flu vaccines as part of the service.
The national protocol for inactivated influenza vaccine provides another legal mechanism for administration of flu vaccine under the service by an appropriately trained person (note; the protocol allows provision of flu vaccinations to people aged from 6 months to under 65 years in a clinical risk group, but the pharmacy service is only for eligible patients aged 18 years and older).
Recommended Vaccines for 2023/24
As set out in the annual flu vaccination programme letter for 2023/24, the following recommended vaccines should be used for their respective adult patient groups.
Although there has been no change to the recommended vaccines that will be reimbursed for adults in the 2023/24 programme, the advice regarding when second line vaccines can be used has been strengthened and should only be used when every attempt to use first line recommended vaccines has been exhausted – evidence of this may be requested by NHS England before reimbursement is agreed.
For those aged 18 to 64 years in eligible clinical risk groups, the letter advises QIVc and QIVr should be prioritised for these cohorts. There is a potential advantage to using flu vaccines which do not use eggs in the manufacturing process (cell-culture or recombinant) compared with egg-cultured flu vaccines, due to the possible impact of “egg-adaptation” on the effectiveness of flu vaccines, particularly against A(H3N2) strains.
All payments must be claimed monthly via the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) portal. See the NHSBSA animation on how to submit your flu vaccination claim on MYS.
It is a requirement of the service specification that contractors use an NHS assured point of care system to record the administration of vaccinations (a paper-based record keeping system is no longer allowed for the service). This will be either be provided by NHS England, (PharmOutcomes in Yorkshire & Humber), or contractors can make their own arrangements for an NHS assured system of their choice.
PharmOutcomes will pre-populate claim information in the MYS portal so that the contractor just needs to login to MYS at the start of every month to confirm that the information is correct and then submit the claim.
Claims for payment should be submitted within one month of, and no later than three months from the claim period for the activity provided. Claims which relate to work completed more than three months after the claim period in question, will not be paid.
Briefing Documents and Resources
- UKHSAPoster – Flu Vaccines 2023-24
- Annual Flu Vaccination Programme Letter 2023/24
- UKHSA Influenza Ovalbumin Table 23-24
- CPE Briefing, 024.23-Guidance on the 2023-24 Flu Service
- Patient Leaflet/Information – Flu Vaccination: Who Should Have It This Winter & Why (2023-24)
- Chapter 19 of the Immunisation Against Infectious Disease, “The Green Book”, can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/influenza-the-green-book-chapter-19.
Refer to the Community Pharmacy England Flu Vaccination Hub here for additional guidance and resources for pharmacy teams.
In addition to these national resources, Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire has developed a Flu Vaccination Record Template in case this is helpful for contractors however, please note that a paper-based record is no longer allowed for the NHS Flu Vaccination Service and vaccinations MUST be recorded onto PharmOutcomes, (or other NHS- assured point of care system), on the same day that they are administered:
Flu Vaccine Template Record Form 2023 Final – Word Document
Flu Vaccine Template Record Form 2023 Final – PDF Document
Service Delivery Resources – Promoting the Service to Patients
Refer to the Community Pharmacy England Flu Vaccination Hub here for further service delivery resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Community Pharmacy England website is a great source of information and resources for pharmacy teams. This includes a useful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers page which are updated on an ongoing basis:
Last Updated: 9th November 2023