Influenza: Vaccination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th October 2018.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the supply of flu vaccines for (a) people over 65 years of age and (b) children; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Officials are continuously monitoring the supply of the flu vaccine. General practitioners and other providers are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccines for adults. This winter those aged 65 and over are being offered a newly licenced adjuvanted trivalent vaccine, Fluad which is intended to offer better protection than the vaccines offered previously to this age group. There is no shortage overall but deliveries from the manufacturer are being staggered to providers during September to November.

Public Health England (PHE) provides flu vaccines centrally for the children’s flu programme, so that eligible children are offered either the nasal spray Fluenz Tetra or an inactivated flu vaccine for those children for whom Fluenz Tetra is unsuitable. Centrally purchased flu vaccines are carefully monitored by PHE to ensure there is equitable distribution across England and sufficient in-date vaccine for patients who present throughout the season.

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