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Latest update

Zika virus infection guidance

There is currently an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infections in South and Central America and the Caribbean, and increasing evidence that infection in pregnancy may be associated with fetal microcephaly and other central nervous system abnormalities.

This guidance is for those working in primary care to advise patients, including pregnant women, who are travelling to or returning from countries that are part of this outbreak.

Vaccinations and immunisation guidance

The national arrangements for providing vaccines and immunisations are set out in the additional services section of the Statement of Financial Entitlements (SFE).

Those vaccines and immunisations that are provided as enhanced services will have their arrangements outlined in service specifications.


GP contract-related changes to vaccinations and immunisation programmes

There have been changes to vaccination and immunisation programmes in line with the GP contract 2015- 2016 England
See a summary of the changes

NHS Employers guidance

The following documents from NHS Employers contain more detailed guidance on a majority of the programmes listed below:

  • Vaccination and immunisation programmes 2015-2016 guidance and audit requirements
  • Technical requirements for 2015-2016 GMS Contract changes

Visit NHS Employers website


New vaccination programmes

Meningococcal B (Men B) vaccination infants

An enhanced service to deliver Meningococcal B vaccination has been agreed and commenced on 1 September 2015. The programme is for three doses of vaccine at 2, 4 and 12 to 13 months for children born on or after 1 July 2015, with a catch-up element for children born on or after 1 May 2015, who can be vaccinated up to 2 years on an opportunistic basis. JCVI has recommend three doses of prophylactic paracetamol (2.5ml of infant paracetamol 120mg/5ml suspension) following the vaccinations at 2 and 4 months. 5 ml sachets and dosing syringes are available to order via ImmForm.

The service specification is available from the NHS England website and further information is available on the Public Health England website.

NHS Employers have updated their vaccs and imms FAQs in to explain the eligible age cohort and what practices can do if parents approach them about having children outside the cohort vaccinated privately. 


Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)

Due to a rapid increase in meningococcal group W (MenW) disease in England, JCVI recommended an emergency programme to vaccinate all 14-18 years-olds (school years 10-13) with a quadrivalent MenACWY conjugate vaccine. This new programme will commence on 1 August 2015, and is a single-dose programme for all patients aged 18 years on 31 August 2015.

The service specification is available from the NHS England website.

A summary of both these programmes is available to download.


HPV booster


Practices to administer HPV booster vaccinations opportunistically or following patient request when child unable to access or missed school programme provision. The patient cohort for this programme is children aged 14-18 years.


Meningococcal C Booster


Practices to administer Meningococcal C vaccinations opportunistically or following patient request when child or young adult unable to access or missed school programme provision. The cohort for this programme is children aged 14-25 years.

Note: In 2013-14 the requirement to deliver Men C vaccinations as part of the childhood vaccination programme was amended in the SFE. One dose was removed and replaced by a single booster at the adolescent stage - what is now known as the Men C Booster. The funding remained in the SFE for 2 years to recognise claims up to 2 years later. As from 1 April 2015, this has been removed from the SFE and means that that the value of the two-year old quarterly target payments for childhood immunisations has reduced to £632.11 for achieving the 70% target and £1,896.82 for the 90% target.


Changes to existing vaccination programmes

There have been some changes to the existing vaccination programmes which will commence from 1 April 2015.

Childhood seasonal influenza

Enhanced service

As from 1 April 2015, the timeframe for this enhanced service has changed from 1 September to 31 August to align with school years. The age range for this enhanced service remains children aged 2-4 years.

Service specification for childhood seasonal influenza vaccination (NHS England, PDF)


Seasonal flu and pneumococcal vaccination programme

The service specification for the seasonal flu and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination programme is available from the NHS England website.

Service specification for seasonal flu and pneumococcal polysaccharide (NHS England, PDF)

The flu plan for winter 2015-2016 sets out a coordinated and evidence-based approach to planning for, and responding to, the demands of influenza across England.

Flu plan: Winter 2015 - 2016 (Gov.uk)


Pharmacists to deliver seasonal flu vaccines from September 2015

From September 2015, adult at-risk patients will be able to access seasonal flu vaccinations in participating community pharmacies.

Find out how this will work


Seasonal influenza for at-risk patients

Enhanced Service

The seasonal flu programme now commences on 1 September rather than 1 August to bring programme into line with the influenza season supply and purchasing plans. As from 1 April 2014 the programme mirrors the at-risk groups set out in the Green Book to include pregnant women, but excluding 2-4 year olds, as they will be covered under the childhood flu programme.



Enhanced Service

As from 1 April 2014, there was an addition to the Pneumococcal vaccination programme to resolve a historic anomaly between the enhanced service and the recommended cohort as indicated within the Green Book.

The requirement is to offer the vaccination to patients are previously unvaccinated with PPV23 since age two who are aged 65 and over and to patients aged two to 64 years defined as at-risk as indicated in the Green Book. As from 1 April 2015, this vaccination will be delivered throughout the year.

Pneumococcal: The Green Book (Chapter 25)

Service specification for seasonal flu and pneumococcal polysaccharide (NHS England, PDF)


Meningococcal vaccination for university freshers

Booster offered to freshers (first time university or further education students who have received notification via UCAS to obtain Meningitis vaccination – aged 19-25)  who self-present at their practice for vaccination. This replaces the MenC vaccine element as part of the 'freshers programme' and includes those who may have previously received the MenC vaccine at 10 years and over.

This is a single dose programme for patients aged 19 years and over and will run from 1 August to 31 March 2016.

Note: the Freshers programme, was due to start on 1 April 2015 but was put on hold until the MenACWY vaccine became available. In June 2015 it was announced that the MenACWY vaccination programme would commence on 1 August 2015, which is when the Meningococcal vaccination programme for freshers also commenced.

Service specification for MenC vaccination for freshers (NHS England, PDF)



Routine vaccination for over 70s - SFE

Catch up programme - Enhanced service

From 1 September 2013, a shingles vaccination programme was introduced for patients aged 70, but not yet 71 [route cohort] as well as a catch-up programme for patients aged 78. As from 1 April 2015, patients aged 70 on or after 1 September 2013 remain eligible for both programmes until their 80th birthday.

Further information about both the routine and catch up programmes are available from the NHS employers website


Continuing vaccination programmes

These existing vaccination programmes are continuing from 1 April 2015.

Childhood immunisation (targeted programme)


The arrangements for the Childhood vaccines and immunisations targeted programme are set out in Chapter 11 of the Statement of Financial Entitlements.


Hepatitis B for new born babies at risk


New born babies whose mother has Hepatitis B are at increased risk of contracting the disease. This programme is intended to identify these new born babies and ensure they receive vaccination (first three doses) within the first three months after birth and fourth dose at the age of 1. This vaccination has been incorporated into SFE for providers of the childhood immunisation additional services.




Between 25 April 2013 and 31 March 2014, there was a MMR catch-up campaign in England in response to local measles outbreaks. From 1 April 2015, patients over 16 who have no record of vaccination and who self-present to the practice requesting vaccination, are to be continued to be vaccinated. 




On 1 July 2013, the rotavirus vaccine was introduced as part of the childhood immunisation schedule (at 2 and 3 months). There is an item of service fee of £7.64 for a completed course and the vaccine supply will be centrally procured and therefore not liable to PA fees. This programme is included in the SFE and will continue until 31 March 2016.

Read the tripartite letter on the introduction of rotavirus vaccination for babies at 2-3 months


Pertussis for pregnant women

Enhanced Service

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccinations for pregnant women and new mothers who missed the opportunity to be vaccinated while pregnant. There is a fee of £7.67 per dose.

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination programme for pregnant women (NHS England, PDF)


'Focus on' guides

Focus on vaccines and immunisations
Our summary guidance explains the national arrangements for provision of immunisations on the NHS. This is currently being updated to take into account the changes for 2015-2016.

Focus on travel immunisation
Our summary guidance explains which travel immunisations are available on the NHS and which can be charged for privately.

Focus on hepatitis B immunisations
Our summary guidance on hepatitis B immunisations aims to clarify the circumstances where charges can be made and where active attempts to encourage immunisation ought to be made.

GP practices

Guidance to help GP practices, including information on services, premises and staffing.

What you need to know

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