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NHSE investigates concerns over-65s have received ineffective flu jab

NHS England is investigating a “potential serious incident” in its flu programme following concerns that people aged 65 and over are being given a vaccination jab known to be ineffective for this age group.

Details of the investigation were set out in a letter by NHS England’s South East regional team. The letter, seen by HSJ, said: “The NHS regional direct commissioning team are investigating reported administration of QIVe flu vaccine to patients aged 65 years or older by a number of primary care providers (primary care and pharmacy) across the region. QIVe is not recommended for use in this age group due to its poor effectiveness.”

It said officials were contacting practices and pharmacists directly where there was a record of QIVe vaccine having been given to the older age cohort to identify whether this is a recording coding error, or a genuine administration of QIVe. Initial investigations “suggest a mixture of both”, it said.

The letter added: “If any patient 65 or over has received QIVe, we will be asking the practice or pharmacist to treat this as an incident. Patients will need to be contacted, informed of the error, its potential implications and offered the opportunity to receive a vaccine which is appropriate for their age group."

It is unclear how many patients have been given the wrong jab.

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Source: HSJ, 8 November 2022


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