Vaccination and immunisations updates

  • Vaccinations and immunisations

This page gathers together recent information on a number of vaccination campaigns including flu, Covid, pertussis and RSV.

Note: due to the volume of available information, we track updates of measles and MMR on this dedicated page.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

The government has confirmed a change of vaccine for the pertussis during pregnancy from 1 July 2024, a letter explaining this was issued in late May and further guidance for healthcare professionals at the end of June. Boostrix-IPV (dTaP/IPV) currently being used for the pertussis vaccination in pregnancy will be replaced by a non IPV-containing vaccine called Adacel (Tdap). Londonwide LMCs is seeking further clarification regarding the implication for practices, including the potential for vaccine wastage if providers have to stock additional vaccines on top of their existing supplies, especially as maternity provision remains the predominant source of pertussis vaccination in pregnancy.

Some practices have been mis-coding vaccinations provided by maternity services as being provided by the practice themselves. For reference the correct codes are:

Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy codes956951000000104Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy (procedure)
Codes indicating patient chose not to receive a Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy866641000000105Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy declined (situation)
Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy given by other healthcare provider codes956971000000108Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy given by other healthcare provider (finding)

UKHSA has also issued guidance covering the recent increase in cases of pertussis, including national guidance on identification, management including antibiotic therapy as well as case notification. They have also provided this poster to explain to professionals which of the available vaccines should be given to pregnant mothers, which to children in the weeks after birth and which to children at the age of three years and four months.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccination campaign

The routine immunisation for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) will become an essential service under the GP contract from 1 September 2024, announced in this letter to practices and various other bodies. The RSV vaccine Abrysvo will be made available to order via ImmForm, expected from August. NHS England’s RSV deployment guide covers eligibility, delivery, vaccine types and provides some links to training resources.

General practice will be expected to offer a single dose of the RSV vaccines to all adults turning 75 years old on or after 1 September 2024. A one-off catch up campaign for those already aged 75-79 years old on 1 September 2024 will be undertaken at the earliest opportunity. Pregnant women who are at least 28 weeks pregnant on the 1 September will be offered a single dose of the RSV vaccine, with women who become eligible later as they reach 28 weeks gestation remaining eligible until birth. Opportunistic or on request GP delivery of immunisations for pregnant women will be commissioned as an essential service in the GP contract. Where commissioners may want general practice to routinely provide this service, this will need to be commissioned locally over and above the core opportunistic or on request offer and giving due regard to procurement legislation.

We expect links to recordings of the UKHSA webinars on maternal RSV (9 July 2024) and older adult RSV (12 July) to be added to this page in due course.

Flu and Covid campaign 24/25

The Seasonal Flu Enhanced Service for 24/25 deadline was 30 June. There is no change in eligibility arrangements or vaccine recommendations, however practices should note the change in timings based on Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendations to account for waning protection over the winter season. The majority of adult patients will be immunised from 3 October, with pregnant women and children starting from 1 September.

The deadline for signing up to the Covid vaccination programme for September 2024-March 2025 fell on 27 June 2024. The BMA has issued guidance regarding delivery of this programme and has urged providers to consider the financial viability of offering this service to patients. The Item of Service fee (IoS) was £7.54 for Covid vaccines delivered during the period of the flu campaign, with a £2.50 supplement paid for Covid vaccinations administered outside of this period and a £10 additional payment for vaccines provided at home for patients. The BMA have outlined their concerns about the Covid and flu campaign in this letter.