Flu vaccines 2023-2024 available from 11th September at Masters Pharmacy Ltd

The programme provides direct protection to those at higher risk of flu associated morbidity and mortality, including older people, pregnant women, and those in clinical risk groups and is guided by advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent departmental expert committee. In addition, based on the JCVI 2012 recommendation, a vaccination programme for children using live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) provides individual protection to the children and reduces transmission to the wider population.

The below groups will be eligible for a flu vaccine from 1 September 2023:

  • those aged 65 years and over
  • those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups (as defined by the Green Book, chapter 19 (Influenza))
  • pregnant women
  • all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023
  • primary school aged children (from Reception to Year 6)
  • those in long-stay residential care homes 
  • carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline workers in a social care setting without an employer led occupational health scheme including those working for a registered residential care or nursing home, registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that are employed by those who receive direct payments (personal budgets) or Personal Health budgets, such as Personal Assistants

All frontline health care workers, including both clinical and non-clinical staff who have contact with patients, should be offered a flu vaccine as part of the organisations’ policy for the prevention of the transmission of flu to help protect both staff and those that they care for. Social care workers directly working with people clinically vulnerable to flu should also have the flu vaccine provided by their employer. There are circumstances where frontline staff, employed by specific social care providers without access to employer led occupational health schemes, can access the vaccine through the NHS free of charge.

Eligible school aged children (including those in clinical risk groups) will be offered immunisation by the school age immunisation service. However, general practices should continue to invite eligible school aged children in clinical risk groups for flu vaccination to ensure that they can access a vaccine before flu starts to circulate, where school sessions may be scheduled for later in the season or have been missed.

An expansion to secondary school-aged children (Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11) is being considered. Should this be confirmed, further guidance will follow.