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Flu vaccination programme extended to cover three year olds

GPs will be expected to vaccinate all two- and three-year olds from September against influenza as part of the first stage of the Government’s planned rollout to all children by 2015, NHS Employers has announced.

The Department of Health announced in April that GP practices will start offering the new intranasal influenza vaccine to all two-year-old children this year, but this has now been extended to three-year old children as well in agreement with the GPC.

NHS Employers announced this week that practices will receive £7.64 for every registered two- and three-year-old child that is vaccinated on their list as part of the programme. The children will need to be vaccinated during the seven-month period from 1 September 2013 to 31 March 2014 on either a proactive call basis, if not considered at-risk, or a proactive call and recall basis, if considered at-risk, following an agreement between NHS Employers and the GPC.

A small number of areas will also pilot vaccination of all primary and preschool aged children this year, with a view to rolling out the programme to all children in those age groups in 2014, while pilots for secondary school children will be run in 2014 ready for full roll-out in 2015.

A statement from NHS Employers said: ‘It is expected that GP practices will be able to record all administered doses through a GPES extraction. Further details will be available once agreement has been reached between NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre on how best to utilise this service.’

Payment will be based on a completed course of treatment - meaning that for at-risk patients this will be following the second dose of vaccine being administered, NHS Employers added.

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