Well being Issues: Delivering the flu immunisation programme in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic

Hm Flu Cover

Hm Flu Cover

The newest version of Well being Issues, PHE’s skilled useful resource, focuses on the nationwide flu immunisation programme and the supply of the 2020/21 programme, which would be the largest one so far providing 30 million individuals a flu vaccine.

This weblog offers a abstract of the complete version’s content material and the principle issues to know in regards to the 2020/21 programme.

Please be aware we can not reply any questions that relate to particular person well being issues. You need to seek the advice of your GP or specialist marketing consultant.

What’s flu?

Flu is an acute viral an infection of the respiratory tract, often characterised by a fever, chills, headache, aching muscular tissues, joint ache and fatigue, however not a brand new, steady cough or a lack of or change in your regular sense of style and odor, that are signs of COVID-19.

Flu is a extremely infectious virus totally different to the widespread chilly, and spreads quickly in closed communities and even individuals with delicate or no signs can infect others.

There’s a increased danger of extreme sickness from flu for some at-risk teams, together with:

  • older individuals
  • the very younger
  • pregnant girls
  • these with an underlying situation
  • those that are immunosuppressed

The common variety of estimated deaths in England for the final 5 seasons (2015/16 to 2019/20) was over 11,000 deaths yearly. This ranged from virtually 8,000 deaths final season (2019/20) to over 22,000 deaths in 2017/18.

Flu vaccination stays one of the best defence we’ve in opposition to flu and protects these people who find themselves most susceptible.

Flu Related Population Mortality Rates For Those In Risk Groups 100

The co-circulation of flu and COVID-19

We’re approaching a winter the place we’re prone to face co-circulation of flu and COVID-19 and it’s potential to be co-infected with flu and COVID-19 on the similar time. New PHE analysis suggests that individuals with flu and COVID-19 co-infection are extra prone to extreme sickness and people contaminated with each viruses had been greater than twice as prone to die than somebody with COVID-19 alone. Most co-infection instances had been in older individuals and greater than half of them died.

Serving to to guard in opposition to flu is especially vital as COVID-19 remains to be circulating and other people susceptible to COVID-19 are additionally prone to issues from flu. It will in flip defend the NHS and social care, which is essential this 12 months because the system can even be coping with COVID-19 instances.

Flu 2020 Social Media Mortality V2

What’s new for 2020?

This 12 months, there’s a want for a concerted effort to achieve eligible teams significantly those that are in danger from COVID-19 in addition to flu. Subsequently, the inhabitants eligible for the flu vaccine has elevated to 30 million for the 2020/21 programme, up from 25 million in 2019/20, making it the most important programme so far.

A brand new nationwide name and recall service will alert those who they’re eligible, with an additional reminder prompting them to e book their appointment to assist drive vaccine uptake. It will help the work of native GP practices and pharmacies, a lot of which already routinely invite registered eligible sufferers.

The next teams are newly eligible for the flu vaccine this season:

  • Secondary faculty youngsters in Yr 7

For the primary time, the nasal spray vaccine might be supplied to an additional 600,000 youngsters in class 12 months 7.

  • Family contacts of these on the NHS Shielded Affected person Listing

Family contacts of people that have been shielding can even be supplied the vaccine, which makes an estimated 920,000 additional individuals eligible this 12 months (excluding these individuals estimated to already be in one other cohort).

There can even be a phased extension later within the season, to supply free flu vaccine to 50 to 64 12 months olds.

  • Domiciliary well being and social care staff

There’s an expanded supply this 12 months for frontline social care staff. To assist enhance uptake within the social care sector, for the primary time, pharmacists will be capable to vaccinate each residents and care house workers on the similar time.

The eligible teams have additionally been expanded to incorporate these well being and social care staff employed by way of Private Budgets and/or Private Well being Budgets to ship domiciliary care to sufferers and repair customers.

What occurred final 12 months and what are the ambitions for this 12 months?

Within the 2019/20 season:

  • over 15 million adults and kids had been vaccinated in England from the eligible inhabitants of 25 million
  • England had among the finest uptake charges in Europe, but it surely different by cohort
  • Vaccine uptake in frontline healthcare staff was the very best ever, however we wish to do higher

PHE is asking for a concerted effort to attain a minimal of 75% uptake throughout eligible teams and the place potential, it’s anticipated that protection might be increased than this.

Flu Vaccine Uptake In 2019 20 And Ambitions For 2020 21 100

How do we all know which strains ought to go into the flu vaccine?

The World Well being Group (WHO) opinions the worldwide state of affairs (as soon as for the Northern Hemisphere vaccine and as soon as for the Southern Hemisphere) every year and recommends which flu strains ought to go within the vaccine to be manufactured for the next season. This advice relies on the viruses circulating every season and epidemiological information from all over the world.

The WHO has to decide on which strains of flu to guard in opposition to, earlier than flu begins circulating a number of months later the next season. For extra info on this 12 months’s strains, go to this web page on the WHO’s web site.

You’ll be able to learn extra about this course of in our ‘Flu detectors’ weblog.

Delivering the programme in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic

This 12 months, individuals will want reassurance that acceptable measures are in place to maintain them protected from COVID-19 when going for his or her vaccine.

Suppliers are anticipated to ship the programme in keeping with customary working procedures which were issued and steering on social distancing and an infection prevention and management. They need to be ready to make changes within the face of any native restrictions to make sure these at highest danger can proceed to be vaccinated.

Safe Ways Of Delivering The Flu Immunisation Programme 100

This version of Well being Issues consists of calls to motion for delivering the programme within the context of COVID-19, for:

  • all frontline well being and social care staff
  • Common Observe and group pharmacists
  • System Transformation Partnerships (STPs), Built-in Care Programs (ICSs) and Medical Commissioning Teams (CCGs)
  • native authorities
  • employers of people working as suppliers of NHS and social care companies

Go to the Well being Issues space of GOV.UK or signal as much as obtain the newest updates by way of our e-bulletin. When you discovered this weblog useful, you’ll be able to learn different Well being Issues blogs right here.