The manufacturing of the flu vaccines is a complex biological process. In February, each year, the World Health Organization makes recommendations on the composition of the flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere based on its international surveillance programme. It takes six-eight months to manufacture the vaccines and following regulatory clearance they start to become available to service providers at the start of the flu season in September.
In relation to the supply of vaccine for the adult programme, general practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. To support plans to expand the flu vaccination programme this winter we have engaged with flu vaccine manufacturers to ensure an adequate quantity of flu vaccines are available this winter.