In 2020/21 groups eligible for the NHS funded flu vaccination programme are the same as last year, although this may change if the programme is expanded, and include:

• all children aged two to ten (but not eleven years or older) on 31 August 2020
• those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
• pregnant women
• those aged 65 years and over
• those in long-stay residential care homes
• carers
• locum GPs
• close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
• health and social care staff employed by a registered residential care/nursing home, registered domiciliary care provider, or a voluntary managed hospice provider

Service Specification

The Directed Enhanced Service (DES) specification for seasonal influenza and pneumococcal immunisation sets out all eligible groups for vaccination (apart from those aged two and three on 31 August 2020). It includes eligible frontline health and care workers working in residential care and nursing homes, domiciliary care providers and the voluntary managed hospice sector.

There is a separate Enhanced Service (ES) specification for the childhood seasonal influenza vaccination programme, covering the vaccination of children aged two and three years on 31 August 2020.

Choice of vaccine

JCVI advises the use of the following vaccines:
– Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (aTIV)
– high-dose trivalent vaccine (TIV-HD)
– Quadrivalent influenza cell-culture vaccine (QIVc) is also suitable for use in this age group if aTIV or TIV-HD is not available.
(Reminder – TIV-HD is currently not eligible for reimbursement)

JCVI advise that the QIVc is considered preferable to standard egg-culture influenza vaccines (TIVe/QIVe).

The expectation is that practices should order the preferred vaccine – aTIV for this age group. QIVc is suitable and should be offered as an alternative when aTIV is not available.


JCVI – joint committee on vaccination and immunisation