During the 2019/20 influenza season, in General Practice (GP) registered patients, in England:1
of people aged 16-65 years, with chronic medical conditions**
of people aged over 65 years
of pregnant women (both healthy and at-risk)
*Median vaccine uptake rates in GP registered patients in England, as reported between 1st September 2019 and 29th February 2020 (based on a 99.3% survey response rate).
**Patients with clinical risk as listed in the Green Book (diabetes, chronic kidney disease, immunosuppression, chronic neurological disease, chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease, asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen and morbid obesity).
The burden of influenza continues to pose a challenge:2-4
39,670 hospital admissions recorded during the 2018/19 flu season alone2
286,256 bed days resulting from secondary care admissions during the 2018/19 flu season2
Influenza may increase the risk of heart attack by up to 10-fold in the 1–3 days following a confirmed infection3
“In light of the risk of flu and COVID-19 co-circulating this winter, the national flu immunisation programme will be absolutely essential in helping to protect vulnerable people and supporting the resilience of the health and care system”4
IN THE UK, INFLUENZA OCCURS MOST OFTEN IN WINTER, AND PEAKS BETWEEN DECEMBER AND MARCH, ALTHOUGH OUTBREAKS MAY OCCUR AS EARLY AS OCTOBER, OR AS LATE AS MAY5
INFLUENZA VIRUS DETECTION IN ENGLAND* AND PROPORTION OF HOSPITILISATIONS DUE TO INFLUENZA,** AS REPORTED DURING THE 2019/20 FLU SEASON.6,7
*Influenza virus detections in sentinel-source specimens by type and subtype, cumulative for week 40 to 20.
**Based on hospitalised laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in ICUs.
Trends suggest that during the 2019/20 flu season, cases peaked in December.6
EVEN THOUGH THE INFLUENZA SEASON HAS ALREADY STARTED, WHILE FLU VIRUSES ARE CIRCULATING, YOU CAN STILL HELP PROTECT ELIGIBLE PATIENTS WITH AN INFLUENZA VACCINATION8
It takes up to two weeks to be protected after an influenza vaccine.9
VACCINATION CAN CONTINUE LATE INTO THE SEASON
Public Health England. Seasonal influenza vaccine uptake in GP patients: winter season 2019-2020. Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912099/Annual-Report_SeasonalFlu-Vaccine_GPs_2019-20_FINAL_amended.pdf. [Last accessed October 2020].
Davidson C, et al. The secondary care burden of influenza disease in England, 2018/19. Presented at the Public Health England Conference. Warwick, September 2019.
Warren-Gash C, et al. Eur Resp J. 2018; 51:1701794.
The national flu immunisation programme 2020 to 2021 – update. NHS England, Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England. 5 August 2020. Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Letter_AnnualFlu_2020-21_20200805.pdf [Last accessed October 2020].
Bupa. Seasonal flu. Available from: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/childrens-health/flu#:~:text=In%20the%20UK%2C%20people%20usually,and%20as%20late%20as%20May.
[Last accessed October 2020].
Flu News Europe. Primary care data tab (online). 2019-2020 season. Available from: https://flunewseurope.org/PrimaryCareData. [Last accessed October 2020].
Flu News Europe. Severity tab (online). 2019-2020 season. Available from: https://flunewseurope.org/Severity/.
[Last accessed October 2020].
CDC (online). Misconceptions about seasonal flu and flu vaccines. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/misconceptions.htm. [Last accessed October 2020].
ECDC (online). Timing of influenza vaccination. Available from: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/seasonal-influenza-prevention-and-control/vaccines/timing. [Last accessed October 2020].
MAT-GB-2002851(v2.0) | November 2020