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GPs will have ‘no target’ for 50-64s’ flu jab uptake, says NHSE

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GPs will not need to meet any targets for flu jab uptake in the 50-64 age group, but practices are expected to call and recall patients, NHS England has said.

It also flagged an issue with recording the temporary-licensed Flublok vaccine on IT systems.

The 50-64s patient group will only be invited by their practice to have their jab, as there will be no national drive to invite these patients for vaccination, NHS England further confirmed.

The Government announced a week ago that GP practices will deliver free flu vaccinations to patients aged 50-64 from 1 December.

In an email seen by Pulse, sent on Friday (27 November), NHS England’s East of England team told practices it has ‘received confirmation that there will be no target set for the 50-64 year old cohort’ in terms of take up for the jab.

Interim screening and immunisation manager for the regional NHS England and PHE team Nicola Taylor also said: ‘There will be no national call/ recall for this category but there is an expectation that practices locally call / recall patients in line with their usual procedures.’

Meanwhile, she added that an issue with coding a new flu vaccine on patient records has been raised with the national team, following queries from practices ‘earlier this week’.

The national NHS England team has said that it will ‘ensure that GP and pharmacy systems have the option to record Flublok or QIVr on the system’, according to the email.

‘Hopefully this issue will be resolved quickly and before the Flublok vaccine stock arrives’, it added.

As of last week, practices have been able to order Flublok (QIVr) to plug gaps in vaccine stock, especially patients under 65 years old.

The MHRA granted Flublok – a quadrivalent influenza vaccine from Sanofi that has been used widely in the US – a temporary licence for use in the UK last month.

It followed a change in legislation which also means the MHRA will be able to approve a yet-to-be-licensed Covid-19 vaccine for UK use.

Provisional Public Health England (PHE) data suggests that 73% of those aged over 65, 45% of 2-year-olds and 47% of 3-year-olds have had their vaccine to date.