General practitioner GP practices England Wales

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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.

Zika virus - guidance for practices

There is an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infections in South and Central America and the Caribbean, and in May 2016 WHO concluded that there is evidence that infection in pregnancy is a cause of 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.

Read the guidance

 

GP contract-related changes to vaccinations and immunisation programmes

From 1 April 2017, there will be changes to some vaccination and immunisation programmes as outlined in the 2017/18 GP contract agreement.

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 2017-2018 guidance and audit requirements
  • Technical requirements for 2017-2018 GMS Contract changes

Visit NHS Employers website

 

Changes to existing vaccination programmes

There have been some changes to the existing vaccination programmes which will commence from 1 April 2017. 

 

Childhood seasonal influenza

Enhanced service

4 year olds are no longer included in this programme. They will not be covered by the schools programme.

Service specification for childhood seasonal influenza vaccination 2017/18 (NHS England, PDF)

 

Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)

Enhanced service

The upper age limit for this programme has been reduced from 26 to 25. Once patients reach the age of 25 they will no longer be eligible.

Service specification Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) 2017/18 (NHS England, PDF)

 

Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) completing dose

SFE

The upper age limit for this programme has been reduced from 26 to 25. Once patients reach the age of 25 they will no longer be eligible.

 

Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) vaccination for university freshers

Enhanced service

The upper age limit for this programme has been reduced from 26 to 25. Once patients reach the age of 25 they will no longer be eligible.

Service specification for MenC vaccination for freshers 2017/17 (NHS England, PDF)

 

Pertussis (whooping cough) for pregnant women

Enhanced service

Eligibility for this programme has changed from 20 weeks to 16 weeks

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination programme for pregnant women 2017/18 service specification (NHS England, PDF)

 

Seasonal flu and pneumococcal vaccination programme

Morbidly obese have now been included as an at risk cohort, as recommended by JCVI.

Guidance from Public Health England on the Annual flu programme

 

Shingles Routine vaccination

SFE

Patients are eligible when they turn 70, rather than their age on a specific date.

The timeframe has changed from September to August to fit in with the SFE.

 

Shingles Catch up programme

Enhanced service

Patients are eligible when they turn 78, rather than their age on a specific date.

The timeframe has changed from September to August to fit in with the SFE.

Service specification for shingles (catch-up) vaccination programme 17/18 (NHS England, PDF)

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

 

Continuing vaccination programmes

The following vaccination programmes are continuing unchanged.

  

Childhood immunisations (targeted programme)

SFE

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

SFE

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 the SFE for providers of the childhood immunisation additional services.

 

HPV completing dose

SFE

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 girls aged 14-18 years.

 

Meningococcal B (Men B) vaccination infants

Enhanced service

The programme is for three doses of vaccine at 2, 4 and 12 to 13 months (in line with the childhood immunisation programme), with a catch-up element in place 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) to be administered following the vaccinations at 2 and 4 months, but this is no longer centrally provided.

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

Meningococcal B (Men B) vaccination infants Specification 2017/18 (NHS England, PDF)

 

Meningococcal C (MenC) vaccination infants

The infant dose of MenC will be removed from the routine childhood schedule following advice from the JCVI. This is because the MenB vaccine provides coverage against the ‘c’ strain of this disease.

This will be removed from the programme from 1 July 2016, and due to the two year payment lag, the funding will be removed from April 2018.

 

MMR

SFE

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.

 

Rotavirus

SFE

The rotavirus vaccine is part of the childhood immunisation schedule and should be provided at 6 weeks and 6 months). This programme is included in the SFE and will continue until 31 March 2017.

Read Public Health England guidance on the rotavirus vaccination

 

'Focus on' guides

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.