GPs can now order QIVc flu vaccines from the Government’s central stock again following a shortage, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.
Updated GP guidance on accessing centrally-supplied vaccines said QIVc stock is available to order for vaccinating under-65s alongside Adjuvanted Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (aTIV) vaccines for over-65s.
Last month, DHSC guidance said that the ‘majority’ of QIVc and QIVe stock had already been ordered and that practices should instead order temporarily-licensed Flublok (QIVr) or aTIV for under and over-65s respectively.
But now the guidance, updated yesterday, said that Flublok is now out of stock and additional QIVc doses have been made available.
It said: ‘The initial allocation of QIVe, QIVc and QIVr (Flublok) which was allocated to GP practices has now been ordered by them. In response to this demand, additional doses of QIVc have been made available.
‘If GP practices need further stock, they should now order Adjuvanted Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (aTIV) for those over 65 years old or QIVc (cellgrown quadrivalent influenza vaccine) for those under 65 years old.’
Both vaccines are available from manufacturer Seqirus and have ‘good availability’, it added.
The document list Mylan’s QIVe vaccine and Sanofi Pasteur’s Flublok as ‘no longer available to order’, while Sanofi’s QIVe stock is available ‘only if pre-ordered’.
As of 20 November, practices were able to order Flublok (QIVr) to plug gaps in vaccine stock, especially patients under 65 years old.
Meanwhile, recently-updated PHE guidance said that children living with someone on the shielded patient list should be vaccinated against flu by their GP if they are ‘not in a group being offered the vaccine at school’.
It added: ‘Parents of any child at risk from flu because of an underlying medical condition can choose to receive flu vaccination in general practice, especially if the parent would prefer this, the child missed the session at school or they do not want their child to have to wait for the school vaccination session.
‘GP practices should invite these children for vaccination, making it clear to their parents that they have the option to have their child vaccinated in general practice (and that if they receive it in general practice, they will not then require a dose in school).’
Another recently-updated PHE document added that children under nine who are in a clinical risk group or part of an immunocompromised or shielding list patient’s household and have never had a flu vaccine before should be offered two doses, separated by a ‘minimum’ of four weeks.
And a PHE document for the public published this week said that those aged 50-64 – including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2021 – will be invited for vaccination by their GP practice in December or January.
It comes as NHS England has said that GPs will not need to meet any targets for flu jab uptake in the newly-launched 50-64 cohort, but practices are expected to call and recall patients.