New egg-free flu vaccine for 2019/20 season

MIMS flu vaccine listings have been updated to reflect the preparations being reimbursed for the 2019/20 influenza season, including a new egg-free quadrivalent vaccine.

The range of recommended flu vaccines has been extended for the 2019/20 season. | GETTY IMAGES
The range of recommended flu vaccines has been extended for the 2019/20 season. | GETTY IMAGES

The egg-free quadrivalent flu vaccine Flucelvax Tetra, which is cultured in mammalian cells, is recommended by NHS England for routine vaccination in people aged 18 to 64 and those 65 and over.

For adults aged 18 to 64 in clinical at-risk groups, pregnant women and other eligible groups, including healthcare workers, NHS England recommends:

  • Standard egg-grown quadrivalent vaccines
  • Cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine

For 65s and over, the recommended vaccines are:

  • Adjuvanted trivalent vaccine
  • Cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine

A new high-dose trivalent vaccine was recently licensed but is not eligible for reimbursement under the NHS vaccination programme because it has a significantly higher list price.

Childhood vaccination

The childhood flu vaccination programme is being extended this year to children in school year 6 as planned, so all those aged 2 to 10 on 31 August 2019 are eligible. The vaccine should also be offered to all children aged 2 to 18 years in clinical risk groups.

The live attenuated influenza vaccine (Fluenz Tetra) continues to be the recommended vaccine in this group. Children for whom this vaccine is contraindicated, and those under the age of 2 years, should be offered a suitable injectable inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine instead. This year, Public Health England has purchased the egg-grown quadrivalent vaccine for these children.

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