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GP-led flu vaccination of children to be extended to all four-year-olds from September

GPs will be expected to vaccinate all four-year-olds as well as two- and three-year-old children against flu from September, Public Health England has confirmed.

The public health body said the national childhood flu vaccination programme in children and adolescents aged two to 17 – which began to be rolled out last year – will now be extended through GP practices to four-year-olds nationally, as well as through pilot programmes in schools to children aged 11 to 13 years.

A PHE spokesperson confirmed to Pulse GPs would be expected to deliver the flu vaccines to four-year olds.

The spokesperson said: ‘Yes, [the] plan is for vaccination for four-year-olds to be delivered by GPs’.

It comes as GP leaders had already criticised the workload associated with this season’s campaign, which spanned only two- and three-year olds.

The GP-led campaign was hailed a success by public health chiefs, after around 40% of children were vaccinated by the end of January, but GP leaders said GPs shouldered too much of the responsibility for informing parents and ensuring adequate uptake.

PHE advised GPs the live-attenuated flu vaccine – Fluenz – used would again be provided centrally and practices will need to take into account the additional four-year-old cohort when ordering stocks.

In a new vaccine update communication to GPs, Public Health England wrote: ‘The flu vaccine ordering season for the winter 2014/15 is already upon us, so we are using this month’s issue to update readers on who will be eligible for the flu vaccine later in the year when the vaccination programme starts.

‘Next winter sees the addition of two more age groups of children to those introduced in winter 2013/14. These are planned for eligible four-year-olds, and in several pilot programmes around the country to 11- to 13-year-olds.

‘GP practices should note that flu vaccine will be provided centrally for all children in the extended programme, and those of all ages in clinical risk groups, up to and including those aged 17 years.’


Readers' comments (4)

  • Vinci Ho

    While I support this fundamentally , advertising of the campaign last year was poor . Plus the rotavirus vaccine , some parents did not feel they knew enough about the new vaccines e.g. the difference between the injectable flu vaccine and the nasal live attenuated one. Typically , everything goes back to GPs , media can do more to help rather than keep reporting negative stories about NHS.....

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  • Whilst agreeing that Flu vaccination in these age groups is a good thing it is yet one more job to be added to an incredibly busy time of year. This year I decided enough was enough. It was underfunded and distracted from my primary purpose. I won’t be doing it this year either. Nor the shingles vaccine.

    Whether you do it is up to you but please then don’t complain that you haven’t enough time to see your ill patients and you haven’t time to have lunch or even take a break.

    Time management is key here. NHS England and HMG really don’t give a monkeys and will keep piling this stuff on us until we say no or crack.

    Make your choice.

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  • 10.16
    Spot on!

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  • Vinci Ho

    Chinese said , ' measure your potential before you implement a job'
    Do not fall into a trap because of an obsession to 'get things right'.........

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