Healthy adults aged 50-64 and secondary school children will not be included in the NHS flu campaign for 2022/23, health officials have confirmed.
Flu vaccination campaigns in 2020/21 and 2021/22 have been the largest in history as the government expanded eligibility beyond standard at-risk groups amid fears that co-circulation of flu and COVID-19 could leave large numbers of patients needing acute care.
However, a document published by NHS England on 2 March setting out the eligible cohorts and reimbursable vaccines said flu jabs would only be offered to patients in groups who were eligible for vaccination before the start of the pandemic in a move to scale down this year's campaign.
The aim for the 2022/23 campaign is to achieve a 100% offer and to achieve at least uptake levels from 2021/22 for each cohort.
The letter also said that the government was not expecting to procure central stocks of vaccines for adults this year, which has been the case during the past two years of the pandemic to accommodate the extra vaccinations needed to be given.
For 2022/23 reimbursement will be available for the following vaccines:
- Those aged 65 and over should receive an aQIV or QIVr vaccine (a QIVc vaccine can be given if neither of these is available.
- Those in at-risk groups aged between 18 and 64 should receive a QIVr or QIVc vaccine (a QIVe vaccine can be given if neither of these is available.
- As in previous years, vaccines for children are purchased centrally and can be ordered via ImmForm so are therefore not reimbursable.
The NHS England document setting out this information is here.