Flu vaccines updated for 2021/22 season

Up-to-date information for the influenza vaccines recommended by Public Health England for the 2021/22 season has been added to MIMS.

School children in years 7 to 11 will be offered a flu vaccine in this year's programme. | GETTY IMAGES
School children in years 7 to 11 will be offered a flu vaccine in this year's programme. | GETTY IMAGES

Information regarding the vaccines that will be available for the upcoming flu season and the age groups for which each is recommended was confirmed by Public Health England in June. Summaries of Product Characteristics for these vaccines have since been revised to include the WHO recommended strains for the 2021/22 season and the relevant MIMS section has been amended accordingly.

Vaccine eligibility

In light of the fact that influenza and COVID-19 are likely to be circulating in tandem this winter, adults aged 50 to 64 years will be again be offered a flu vaccine, as hospitalisation from COVID-19 also increases from the age of 50 onwards. 

The programme will also be extended temporarily to include all children in school years 7 to 11.

The programme will therefore cover:

  • all children aged 2 to 15 years on 31 August 2021
  • those aged 50 years and over
  • those in clinical risk groups aged from 6 months to 50 years
  • pregnant women
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline health and social care staff

Recommended vaccines

Public Health England has recommended six vaccines, all quadrivalent, and covering five different types:

Details of which vaccine is recommended in which age group is shown in the MIMS table 'Influenza Vaccines, Which Vaccine to Offer'.

Providers of flu vaccines remain responsible for ordering vaccines directly from manufacturers. Distribution of vaccine supplies usually begins in September but timings are dependent on manufacturing processes and may vary.

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