Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Seasonal Flu Immunisation Programme 2020/21

Report of the Director of Public Health, Manchester City Council and

Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director, Manchester Health & Care Commissioning


This report describes Manchester’s Flu Programme for 2020/21 and outlines some of the key areas and challenges.




The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health and the Medical Director, Manchester Health & Care Commissioning that described Manchester’s Flu Programme for 2020/21 and outlined some of the key areas and challenges.


The main points and themes within the report included: -


·         Providing the context and agreed system-wide approach as start of a three-year plan to drive up flu vaccination rates within the city;

·         Describing the scope of the Manchester Flu Programme 2020/21; and

·         Programme Approach.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·         Welcoming the additional cohorts in scope for flu vaccination this year and were key workers included;

·         Was the supply of the flu vaccine sufficient to meet the demand;

·         Were there different strains of the vaccine that were appropriate for different cohorts;

·         Would unaccompanied asylum seeking children be eligible to receive the flu vaccination;

·         Noting the important roles of Councillors, especially those acting as school governors in promoting flu vaccination;

·         Recognising the importance of reaching out to hard to reach communities to promote flu vaccination, including the use of social media to dispel myths and counter incorrect messaging regarding vaccination;

·         Were GP practices proactively contacting their patients to offer the flu vaccine; and

·         Could the service administer a COVID vaccine when one was available.


The Strategic Lead, Population Health Programmes, MHCC addressed the Committee and said that the take up of the flu vaccination had increased by 30% compared to the same period last year, noting that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic this was very important, both in terms of the health of the general population and mitigating pressures on health services. She described that vaccination data was obtained weekly to assist in the delivery of the vaccination. She described that to continue to progress this programme a system wide approach had been adopted at a neighbourhood level, working with communities to ensure every contact with residents counted. She stated that this approach was complimented and supported with a communications and engagement campaign.  


In response to the specific question regarding unaccompanied asylum seeking children, the Strategic Lead, Population Health Programmes stated that they would offered the vaccination via the primary school aged children and Year 7 children in secondary school cohort or via their GP practice.


The Strategic Lead, Population Health Programmes informed the Committee that the list of cohorts had been prescribed nationally and not determined locally, however local arrangements had been agreed to support staff to receive the vaccination.


With regard to national stocks of flu vaccination, the Deputy Head of Medicines Optimisation, MHCC described that the process for ordering stocks of vaccinations has been completed prior to the pandemic. She said the supply of vaccinations was a national issue and representations were being made to ensure Manchester had the required numbers. She further advised that there were four different strains of flu vaccination available, specific to different cohorts.


With regard to communications and engagement, the Deputy Head of Strategic Communications acknowledged the comment regarding listening to the messages that were being circulated on social media and the need to counter misleading or dangerous advice appropriately.


Dr Manisha Kumar reassured the Committee that GP practices were actively contacting patients with the offer of flu vaccination, including the use of text messaging that had proven to be very successful. She stated that the take up of the vaccination is monitored and reviewed weekly to inform any targeted work. She described that practices were working flexibly to deliver vaccinations to their patients.


With regard to the administration of a COVID vaccine once available, the Strategic Lead, Population Health Programmes stated that the planning and modelling for this had commenced, however was still at an early stage.




To note the report.


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