Two new vaccines to be used in 2019/20 flu programme

Two new flu vaccines, which are due to be licensed before the end of the year, will be used in the 2019/20 flu vaccination programme, NHS England has said.

For the 2019/20 flu season, adults aged 18-64 will be able to have a new cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine. | iStock.com/Wavebreakmedia
For the 2019/20 flu season, adults aged 18-64 will be able to have a new cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine. | iStock.com/Wavebreakmedia

The change will mean that three vaccines will be available for use in over-65s next year, which should help to avoid the problems practices have faced this year because of the phased delivery of the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (Fluad), the only vaccine recommended for use in this cohort of patients in 2018/19.

The two new vaccines are both expected to be licensed in December, NHS England said.

All of the current vaccines in use are cultured on eggs, but a new quadrivalent vaccine that is cultured in mammalian cells has been recommended for use in those aged 18 to 64 and those over 65 by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The other vaccine that has been recommended for use in over 65s is a high-dose trivalent vaccine.

There are no changes to the vaccines recommended for use in children.

Ordering vaccines

NHS England said that practices can order currently licensed vaccines, but should wait until it confirms that the unlicensed vaccines are eligible for reimbursement before ordering these. NHS England will confirm full recommendations for next year’s flu season when the licenses for the new vaccines have been granted.

Public Health England will continue to order and supply vaccines for all children aged six months to 17 years.

Vaccines for 2019/20

NHS England recommends that the following vaccines be used in the 2019/20 flu vaccination programme.

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

  • Standard egg-grown quadrivalent vaccines, which are currently licensed;
  • Cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine, which is expected to be licensed in December 2018.

For the 65s and over:

  • Adjuvanted trivalent vaccine, which is currently licensed;
  • Cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine, which is expected to be licensed in December 2018.
  • High-dose trivalent vaccine, which is expected to be licensed in December 2018.

There are no changes to the vaccines recommended for use in children.

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