Devon LPC Flu Special News Bulletin

Devon LPC Flu Special News Bulletin

August 10, 2018

Flu is nearly here: are you ready for the big changes in flu season 2018-2019?

Devon community pharmacies did amazingly well in the last flu season with over 29,000 vaccines delivered by 189 pharmacies across the county.

This flu season contains a number of changes which you and your pharmacy teams will need to be fully aware of. Firstly, for the 65 years and over at risk group you will now be using an adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (Fluad manufactured by Seqirus). This change has come about because of the weak effectiveness of the inactivated flu vaccine in older people in previous years.  For example, the 2016/17 season evaluations done by Public Health England demonstrated that the flu vaccine showed no significant effectiveness at all in the over 65 years and over.

Younger people (18 to 64 years) who are in the ‘at risk’  groups will be provided with the quadrivalent inactivated flu vaccine.   This vaccine provides additional protection for patients as it has four strains of flu in the vaccine, not the three contained in previous years trivalent vaccine.

The above changes will make this season’s flu vaccination programme one of the most difficult to deliver because the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine is manufactured by only one provider. This means practically the company has to delay vaccine deliveries over a period of three months, with 40% in September, October 20%, and 40% November. As patients will expect what they have always got, that is their flu vaccine in September or October, we will need to be educating patients on the realities of this season. We will also need to be educating patients as we are vaccinating them they are much more likely to see side effects to the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine, from pain and swelling at the injection site, headaches and tiredness.

To support an effective flu programme in your pharmacy this year, the Devon LPC has produced a FAQ  that can be used with your staff to identify the key patient messages for this season.

We would recommend that all pharmacists update their flu knowledge for this year, there is a really useful internet training course online that can be accessed for free, it is provided by Health Education England see:

Declaration of Competence:  Previously there have been two separate CPPE Declaration of Competence (DoC) frameworks for the NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced service and other locally commissioned immunisation services. This year the two DoCs have been merged and the CPPE is launching a new single DoC framework developed for all vaccination services. Other changes to the DoC include the additional provision for supervision for those who are new to vaccination or have had a gap in vaccination practice as outlined in the 2018 National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners. There is also an additional requirement that all pharmacy professionals will have accessed the national practice standards for consultation and associated learning and complete the assessment within 12 months of signing the Declaration of Competence statement. You can access the new Vaccination DoC at

Essential Viewing: PSNC will be holding a webinar on the 2018/19 Flu Vaccination Advanced Service on Wednesday 15th August at 7.30pm.

On the night Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC, will explain how the Flu Vaccination Advanced Service will differ for 2018/19, highlighting some important changes community pharmacy teams need to be aware of and answering your questions.

To book your place please click here

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