Two new vaccines have been licensed for use during the 2019-20 seasonal flu vaccination programme.
The cell-grown quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc) which is not currently licensed, will be available for people aged 18 to 64 in at-risk groups including pregnant women or other eligible groups from next month.
The standard egg-grown quadrivalent vaccines (QIVe) is currently licensed for these groups.
QIVcs and the high-dose trivalent vaccine (TIV-HD) which is also unlicensed at the moment, are expected to be available from December for the 65-and-over age group.
The licensed adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) is currently used for this age group.
“As in the 2018/19 season, standard trivalent vaccines (TIVe, previously known as TIV) are not to be used in any age or clinical at-risk group,” NHS England (NHSE) and Public Health England (PHE) said.
The new vaccines were made available following a review by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
NHSE and PHE said the live attenuated quadrivalent influenza vaccine (LAIV) was “the vaccine of choice” for children aged two to 17 but added that children in at-risk groups should be offered a suitable quadrivalent inactivated vaccine if medically contraindicated to LAIV.
The bodies also said children aged six months to under two years in at-risk groups should be offered a suitable quadrivalent inactivated vaccine.
NHSE and PHE said: “For the new, currently unlicensed vaccines, please wait for confirmation from NHS England that they are eligible for reimbursement before ordering.”
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