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Over-50s to be eligible for flu jab again next winter

by Costanza Pearce
26 March 2021

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NHS England has confirmed that the over-50s will once again be eligible for a free flu jab for the 2021/22 flu season.

Last month, NHS England said eligible cohorts may be extended for 2021/22, depending on the levels of Covid infection.

At the time, practices were told to order ‘at least’ enough flu vaccines for 2021/2022 to match the number of vaccinations achieved this year.

NHS England today confirmed via its GP email bulletin that people aged 50 to 64 ‘are expected to be included as an eligible cohort’ next season. 

The flu reimbursement letter is being updated to reflect the inclusion of the expanded cohort and will be republished ‘imminently’, it added.

The 2020/21 flu vaccination programme was expanded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Government setting a target of vaccinating 30 million patients.

Shielded patients and their households, and the over 50s, were among the new cohorts.

It comes as GP leaders have warned some practices could lose income when the four flu indicators in QOF are retired and replaced with new incentives for PCNs from April.

And in February, Public Health England (PHE) revealed that no flu cases had been detected in the last seven weeks thanks to ‘changes in our behaviour’.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.