In May 2011, the DH consulted on plans to strip GPs of responsibility for ordering flu vaccines. Ministers proposed that GPs should place orders centrally for stocks procured and held by the DH, but final plans are yet to be unveiled.
DH director of immunisation Professor David Salisbury told GP magazine that changes to flu vaccine ordering would depend on whether the annual flu programme was expanded.
As part of proposals for a major expansion of the annual flu campaign, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said all school-age children should be immunised against flu.
Professor Salisbury said no decision had yet been made on changes to vaccine ordering.
‘It depends a lot on what happens with the flu immunisation programme, with the JCVI currently looking at a whole lot of the programme,’ he said.
‘If there are big changes to the programme, then clearly the question of what is the best way to maintain continuity of supply and efficiency of supply comes back on the radar.’
He added: ‘It would be a bit silly to be making major changes to supply routes and then have a big programme change to have to do [implement] as well.’