Learning Disability – Clarification on flu vaccine eligibility

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GP colleagues have fed back that confusion has arisen around the flu vaccine eligibility criteria for patients with a learning disability. This issue came from the inclusion on Immform of the reference to ‘severe’ learning disability. They understood this to mean that only patients with a severe learning disability would therefore be eligible for the free flu vaccine. This differed from the original understanding that this would be free to all those with a learning disability.

The issue was escalated to the Regional Team of NHS England to gain clarity. They have come back to us and have made it clear that all people with a learning disability are entitled to a free flu vaccination and should be called for immunisation as per DES/QOF guidance for this year. Eligibility also should include carers.

Thank you to colleagues for bringing this issue to the attention of the Regional Team. They are following this up with PHE colleagues to get this changed on the Immform system and for the term ‘severe’ to be removed.

As you may be aware, the LeDeR reviews show excess mortality for those with learning disabilities from respiratory illnesses. 

For those organising flu clinics, please ensure those of your patients this applies to – and their carers – are booked in for their free flu vaccine. 

See the Downloads for an easy read poster and leaflet to support you if your patients want more information in respect of the flu vaccine.

For additional guidance to support LD patients in offering the flu, read Flu vaccine: supporting people with learning disabilities on the gov.uk website.


PHE flu easy read poster

Download PDF, 2.35 MB

PHE flu easy read winter leaflet

Download PDF, 1.34 MB
Expiry date: Jan 31st, 2021