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Advice and resources

Advice and resources for nursing staff on seasonal flu vaccinations

Flu vaccinations 2018-2019

The seasonal influenza vaccination policy is based on recommendation 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.

• Healthy children within the identified target groups. These target groups vary slightly across the UK (see specific country guidance below).

• 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 are fully vaccinated as part of their clinical and professional responsibilities to reduce the risks of spreading the infection to the people they care for.#

The Influenza immunisation programme and having the flu vaccine annually remains the best way to protect against 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.

General guidance

RCN clinical topic - immunisation

Public Health England publication ‘Immunisation Against Infectious Diseases’: The Green Book

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

NHS Employer’s flu fighter campaign operates in NHS Trusts and boards in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. In Wales see Health Challenge Wales' Beat Flu campaign.

The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Pharmaceutical officer in England have issued advice on the prescribing and supply of antiviral medicines for the prevention and treatment of influenza. This can be located on the Gov.uk website.

NICE. Flu vaccination: increasing uptake. This guideline covers how to increase uptake of the free flu vaccination among people who are eligible. It describes ways to increase awareness and how to use all opportunities in primary and secondary care to identify people who should be encouraged to have the vaccination.

Immunisation training

Public Health England immunisation training standards and core curriculum are applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:

National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners (2018).

National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training of Healthcare Support Workers (2012).

NHS Education for Scotland training standards and core curriculum are applicable in Scotland: 

Immunisation guide for students, mentors and their employers.

Seasonal flu information.

Training resources

• Flu immunisation e-learning programme

An interactive flu immunisation e-learning programme, written by PHE, and produced by Health Education England’s e-Learning for Healthcare, is available for anyone involved in delivering the flu immunisation programme.

• Video for administration of the live attenuated flu vaccine for children (LAIV)

NHS Education for Scotland has made a video for health professionals on how to administer the vaccine.

Country specific guidance

England:

 

Public Health England (PHE) annual Flu programme resources.

NHS England Annual Flu Plan and letter.

NHS Choices Influenza vaccination.

Public Health England have written a blog on everything we need to know about this year's programme. 

Children: 

• Routine vaccination for influenza in children.

• In England, all pre-school children aged between 2 and 4 (children must be 2 or over on 1st September 2018) should be immunised at their GP practice.

• Those in primary school, reception and school years 1 to 5 at school.

Northern Ireland:

 

The NI Public Health Agency's Seasonal Influenza public health information and Flu Aware NI.

NI government letters and communications.

Children: 

• Routine vaccination for influenza in children.

• In Northern Ireland, pre-school children aged between 2 and 4 (children must be 2 or over on 1st September 2018) should be immunised at their GP practice.

• All primary school children should be offered the vaccine normally in school.

Scotland:

 

Health Protection Scotland Influenza information and NHS24 Influenza pages.

E-learning resource from NHS Education for Scotland.

• Specific education resources for influenza vaccination.

Children: 

• In Scotland all preschool children, aged 2-5 years (and not yet in school) should be immunised at their GP practice (children must be aged 2 years or above on 1 September 2018 to be eligible).

• All primary school children should be offered the vaccine normally in school.

Wales:

 

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

Public Health Wales and NHS Direct Wales adult vaccination.

Children: 

• Routine vaccination for influenza in children including the eligibility checker tool.

• In Wales pre-school children aged between 2 and 4 will normally receive their vaccine in general practice (children must be 2 or over on 1st September 2018).

• Those in primary school, reception and years 1 to 5 are being offered the vaccine in school.










Page last updated - 05/11/2018