Advice and resources

Advice and resources for nursing staff on seasonal flu vaccinations

Flu vaccinations 2019/2020

Please see the following list of authoritative resources on influenza and influenza vaccinations. If you are having any difficulties accessing vaccination in your frontline care role, please call us via RCND on: 03457726100

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Introduction

The influenza immunisation programme in the UK is based on recommendations by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert advisory committee that advises all UK health departments on vaccination and immunisation programmes.

Annual flu immunisation is recommended for:

  • Those at particular risk of severe infection; the elderly, those who are immunosupressed and those with other underlying health conditions
  • Children aged 2 and 3 years
  • All primary school age children
  • Those at most risk of transmitting infection such as
  • All health and social care workers with direct patient/client contact
  • carers.

Health and social care workers

Health care workers have a responsibility to protect their patients and for nurses this is enshrined in the NMC code. Flu vaccination for health care workers helps to stop the transmission of the flu virus and is fully supported by professional bodies like the RCN and British Medical Association (BMA).

The RCN recommends that all members with direct patient care (including students on placement) are fully vaccinated against flu as part of their clinical and professional responsibilities to reduce the risks of spreading the infection to the people they care for.

Having a flu vaccine annually remains the best way to protect against catching or spreading flu. Nursing staff should make sure that they have the flu vaccine annually to protect themselves and that those they care for also have the vaccine every year.

Guidance is available from the Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) on authorisation for administration of the influenza vaccine for health care staff.

Additional references:

General guidance

Immunisation training

Public Health England immunisation training standards and core curriculum are applicable in England and Wales. The principles outlined in the standards may provide immunisers with some useful guidance and may be of use for those in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well. 

England and Wales

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Training resources

Country specific guidance

England:

All children with underlying health problems from 6 months.

Children aged two and three on 31 August at their GP surgery.

Vaccination is offered to all primary school children from reception through to year six.

Northern Ireland:

Childhood influenza vaccination: 

  • All children with underlying health problems aged from six months
  • All pre-school children aged two years or over on 1 September 2019 (DOB between 2 July 2015 and 1 September 2017)
  • The vaccination is offered to all primary school children from reception through to year six.

Scotland:

Children: 

  • See NHS inform child flu vaccine:
  • Children from six months of age with a long term health condition
  • The vaccine is delivered through primary care (GP appointment) for children aged two to five who are not yet in school
  • Children in primary school from reception class upwards are being offered the vaccine in school. Children of this age not in school can access their vaccine at their GP surgery.

Wales:

  • All elements of the annual influenza campaign in Wales (including for health and social care workers) are supported by Wales' Beat Flu campaign.

Children

  • Children from six months of age with a long term health condition
  • Children aged two and three on 31 August 2019 at their GP surgery (in some areas three-year old's will be offered the vaccine in local authority nurseries)
  • Children in primary school from reception class upwards are being offered the vaccine in school. Children of this age not in school can access their vaccine at their GP surgery. 

Page last updated - 06/11/2019