Flu campaign extended

GPs may continue to offer seasonal flu vaccination to patients in January, according to the DoH.

A letter, by Dr David Salisbury, DoH director of immunisation, has been sent out to all GPs in England providing an update on the seasonal flu programme for 2006/7, the pneumococcal catch-up programme for children and information on the 2007/8 seasonal flu programme.

The letter states that: ‘In light of the recent delays in vaccine distribution experienced earlier in the year and the restoration of supplies, GPs and PCTs may wish to continue to offer vaccination in January. This may provide a further opportunity to reach any unvaccinated individuals within the target groups.’

Every effort should be made to complete the pneumococcal catch-up programme by 3 March 2007, and payments can be claimed for vaccinations given up to 31 March, the letter states.

The letter says there will be no reduction in the ‘at risk’ groups requiring vaccination for the 2007/8 seasonal flu programme.

Instructions will be sent out to GPs in March to inform them of whether risk groups have been added to the national policy recommendations.

However, GPs can place their vaccination orders now, the letter recommends.

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