Health Academy Updates Flu Courses in Response to National Flu Vaccine Shortage

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Community Pharmacy, Immunisation, Practice Nurse

In light of a recent change to the national flu immunisation programme, we have updated our flu courses for this coming flu season including our ‘Seasonal Influenza 2024/25’ e-learning course as well as our face-to-face flu workshops and our live-via-zoom flu update sessions. This is to ensure that healthcare professionals are equipped with the latest information and best practices.

Staying updated with the ever-evolving landscape of vaccines and immunisations can be quite a challenge, especially when it comes to the flu. Every year, as soon as the World Health Organisation announces the new flu vaccine strains, we dive into creating our latest flu courses for the upcoming season. This process involves a lot of anticipation and forecasting regarding the national flu programme’s rollout. Fortunately, our predictions tend to be remarkably accurate, and when the official flu guidelines are finally released, we usually find that only a few minor adjustments are necessary. This meticulous preparation ensures that we provide the most relevant and effective information to our audience.

Sometimes however, there is a sudden change that no-one can predict and last week the UK government announced a modification to the flu programme, necessitated by a shortage of the recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVr) for the upcoming flu season. This development has prompted us to incorporate crucial updates into our course.

Screen shot from DoH & UKHSA change of flu programme 2024/25

Key Course Updates:

  1. Introduction of High-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIV-HD): We have added a new lesson that provides detailed information about QIV-HD. This vaccine is now recommended for older adults and is licensed for those aged 60 years and over. The lesson covers the vaccine’s efficacy, administration guidelines, and target demographics.
  2. Updated Immunisation Groups: The lesson titled ‘Groups for the national flu immunisation programme 2024/25’ has been revised to include new age groups, particularly the 60-64 years age group. This change ensures that learners are aware of the correct target population for the flu vaccination.

Background to the Changes:

The changes to our course follow the announcement made by the government on June 12, 2024. Due to the unavailability of QIVr, healthcare providers are advised to order alternative vaccines such as the high-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV-HD) and other first-line vaccines like the adjuvanted quadrivalent influenza vaccine (aQIV) for those aged 65 years and older, and cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc) for those under 65 years.

These updates are crucial for ensuring that healthcare professionals can continue to deliver effective flu immunisation services amidst the vaccine shortage. Our revised course materials aim to provide comprehensive guidance on the new recommendations and support the successful implementation of the national flu programme for 2024/25.

Stay informed and up-to-date with Health Academy’s training courses to ensure the highest standard of care during the flu season.

For more detailed information, check out our range of flu courses here.

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