The Department estimates that the number of registered patients eligible for the seasonal influenza vaccine will remain similar, or slightly higher, for the 2008-09 influenza season than for 2007-08. The Department estimated that the number of people aged 65 years and over that were eligible for the influenza vaccine in season 2007-08, in England, was around 8.5 million. The number of people under 65 years of age in a risk group that were eligible for the influenza vaccine, in England, was estimated at around 4.6 million. The figures are estimated from an extrapolation of data returned by primary care trusts (PCTs) on the number of patients vaccinated by general practices.
Data for 2008-09 from the PCTs will not be available until mid November 2008 when general practices return their collection surveys to the Department.
The figures, which are broken down by PCT (England only), represents data from 95 per cent, of general practices for 2007-08 and have been placed in the Library.
General practices order influenza vaccines directly from the suppliers. As such a break down of quantity by primary care trust is not possible.
The Department holds regular discussions with the UK Vaccine Industry Group (UVIG) to ensure adequate vaccine supply for the influenza programme. This year there are 13.5 million influenza doses available for dispensing this winter, in the United Kingdom.
The UVIG has confirmed that this is sufficient to meet all orders placed with the suppliers.