Seasonal Flu Programme: Working Together to Protect Our Patients

Dear Colleagues

As you will no doubt be aware, the impact of the coronarvirus pandemic has meant that we are having to change our approach to how we usually deliver seasonal flu vaccinations, understandably this may be challenging at times.  We are all aware of the recent spike in cases in North East London and must do all that we can to protect our patients, particularly those at greatest risk from complications from contracting either of these viruses.  It is therefore imperative that we reduce the prospect of the co-circulation of flu and coronavirus in the community this winter by vaccinating more eligible patients than in previous years. 

We know that some of you have already placed orders for your supply of vaccines. To ensure that you are able to increase the numbers of people being offered and accepting the flu vaccine this winter we have as a system agreed to alleviate any barriers to improvement  by underwriting orders equivalent to 10% above  last year’s outturn for 22/23 eligible groups.  We are doing this in light of the need to improve uptake locally and because the national stock that has been available in the past 2 years will not be offered in 22/23.

We therefore urge you to review your orders in light of the following

  • The removal of cohorts from the 22/23 programme (Healthy 50-64 and Secondary School Children) as advised in the NHSEI letter B1395 attached
  • The removal of the offer of nationally held stock to meet increased demand of supply problems
  • The need to improve overall uptake in NEL and specific uptake in some of our communities to reduce health inequality
  • The offer by NEL to underwrite the cost of orders up to 10% above previous outturn for the eligible groups.

Underwriting Commitment

  • NEL will agree to underwrite the cost of any excess vaccines that cannot be returned to the manufacturer or wholesaler (up to a maximum cap of 10% above last year’s outturn for eligible cohorts)
  • The cap of 10% is calculated based on the 21/22 outturn figures for NHS recorded activity relating to the cohorts agreed the 22/23 programme. This excludes 21/22 activity for healthy 50-54 and healthy secondary school children, see attached letter B1395
  • Information about 21/22 activity can be found from CEG dashboard reports or from Sonar Data
  • Where possible, NEL with the cooperation of providers, shall seek to redistribute any excess vaccines within the local or regional system, subject to legal regulations
  • NEL will develop plans and incentives to support improvement in uptake within local networks that will ensure utilisation of ordered vaccines and the most efficient and effective use of our resources.

We would also like to thank our GP practices and Community Pharmacies for the hard work and commitment they have shown to both the Season Flu and Covid Vaccine programmes in the past 2 years. The contributions and dedication has exceeded all expectations and is appreciated by NEL and the local populations.

We know that by working together we will maximise the number of flu jabs administered this year to best protect the health of our patients.


Yours sincerely

Sent on Behalf of
Jane Lindo
Director of Primary Care

Dr Muhammad Waqqas Naqvi
Chair of the Joint NEL Immunisations and Vaccinations Board