Intended for healthcare professionals


Seasonal influenza programme expansion

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 07 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4713

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  1. S Jayasooriya, NIHR clinical lecturer1,
  2. C Mitchell, senior clinical lecturer1,
  3. J Balen, lecturer in global health2,
  4. T C Darton, Florey advanced clinical fellow3
  1. 1Academic Unit of Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Public Health Section, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield
  3. 3Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, University of Sheffield
  4. Correspondence to: S Jayasooriya

Insights and learning opportunities for covid-19

The UK government plans to deliver an expanded influenza vaccination programme to more than 30 million people this winter.1 The intention is to mitigate avoidable risk during the covid-19 pandemic. With the announcement of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines,2 the expanded influenza programme is an opportunity to alert people at risk of poor outcomes from covid-19 and to improve uptake of these new vaccines.

In previous years, children aged 2-10 years, clinical risk groups, health and social care staff, people aged 65 and older, pregnant women, and care home residents were eligible for free influenza vaccination. This autumn, people aged 50-64, household members of those shielding, and children in the first year of secondary school are included.1 In the light of this expansion, how does the UK’s seasonal influenza vaccination programme perform, and what are the key lessons related to coverage and uptake?3

Monitoring the performance of vaccine programmes in England and Wales relies on the ImmForm system, which compiles data across …

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