In a letter issued by NHS England, it said that the cell grown quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc), Flucelvax Tetra was now licensed for use in the UK for patients aged nine years and upwards and could be used in the 2019-20 winter season.
This is in addition to the existing standard egg cultured quadrivalent inactivated vaccine (QIVe) that will continue to be recommended for 18 to 64-year-olds in clinical at-risk groups and other eligible groups (such as frontline health workers) and the adjuvanted trivalent inactivated vaccine (aTIV) which will continue to be suitable for people aged 65 years and over.
Both the latter vaccines will be useable next winter, but GPs will have the alternative of using the newly approved single Flucelvax Tetra vaccine.
This is likely to be welcomed as the vaccines being used this winter have proved complicated due to the ability to use different jabs, some of which were subject to a phased delivery process to different groups.
In the letter from NHS England’s national medical director Professor Stephen Powis, he said: “The vaccines recommended for the 2018-19 season continue to be recommended for the 2019-20 season. Both are currently licensed and available to order for use in the United Kingdom.
“In addition, the cell grown quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc), Flucelvax Tetra, is now licensed for use in the UK for patients aged nine years and upwards.”
This decision had been made after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) had decided that it considered that QIVc was equally suitable to the QIVe for those aged nine to 64 years in clinical at-risk groups and other eligible groups.
Both QIVe and QIVc were preferable to standard egg based inactivated trivalent vaccines (TIVe).
The QIVc was also equally suitable to aTIV for people aged 65 years and over, which was preferable to standard egg based inactivated trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines (TIVe/QIVe) on the grounds of clinical and cost-effectiveness, said NHS England.