Pharmacists will receive additional funding to help them use the most effective flu vaccines for different patients next winter, NHS England has announced.

The extra cash will support the use of 'adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) and quadrivalent influenza vaccine’, the commissioning body said in a letter sent to community pharmacists on Monday (5 February).

Meeting patients’ needs

The new advice follows guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCIV) on what type of vaccine should be used for different groups.

The JCIV advises pharmacists to offer the aTIV for people aged 65 and over, while the quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) should be used for at-risk adults under the age of 65 and pregnant women.

The JCIV wrote in the Green Book: ‘Given the low influenza vaccine effectiveness seen in the over 65 year olds in seasons dominated by A(H3N2), the Committee agreed that use of aTIV in those aged 65 years and over would be both more effective and cost-effective than the non adjuvanted vaccines currently in use.

‘JCVI also agreed that the priority for adjuvanted vaccine should be for those aged 75 years and above as this age group appear to derive little benefit from the un-adjuvanted vaccine.’

Contractors must order their flu vaccines by 29 March 2018.