Private sector taking substantial steps to protect staff from COVID & flu ‘twindemic’ this winter
Following warnings from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) of an extremely challenging winter with a particularly severe influenza strain expected, the most established private provider of flu vaccinations has reported that demand from the private sector for company flu vaccinations has been amongst its highest for decades.
Doctorcall is the most established provider of flu vaccinations for companies and organisations, having delivered these services for longer than anyone outside the NHS.
Dr Charles Levinson, Chairman of Doctorcall commented:
“Influenza, in particular the H3N2 strain, and associated complications have the potential to kill thousands this winter. Concerns are well-founded and I urge all those who are eligible to take up the NHS offer of a free flu jab.”
“Doctorcall’s vaccination programme has run in parallel ever since it was founded in 1989, helping to complement the NHS effort at no cost to the taxpayer. Providing millions of people with a level of immunity – therefore easing symptoms, reducing pressure on hospitals, and ultimately saving lives.”
“With warnings of an extremely difficult winter, a wide range of companies and organisations have booked their vaccination programme. The demand has been high and this demonstrates how seriously they take their duty of care to their staff.”
“Significant pressure is expected on hospitals across the country, I’m relieved that the private sector is playing its role in helping to tackle that and protect its staff.”
British health officials warn of difficult winter with flu and COVID:
For the 2022/23 flu season, Doctorcall will be offering the quadrivalent flu vaccine. This superior vaccine means that each patient will be protected against more strains of flu than ever before. It has now become official policy to use quadrivalent flu vaccine in the UK.
There are two important influenza A strains and two important influenza B strains. Trivalent vaccines provided cover against viruses from both A strains and one B strain. A quadrivalent vaccine which covered the second B strain became available several years ago but was not considered cost effective. However, over the past few years, the additional cost of quadrivalent vaccine has come down and other countries adopted it.
When, in the 2018-19 season, a flu epidemic arose from the B strain that was not included in the trivalent vaccine, a decision was taken in the UK to change to quadrivalent vaccine. Quadrivalent vaccine is now the internationally accepted vaccine of choice.
Doctorcall has been able to source quadrivalent vaccine at a cost-effective price and we do not believe it is any longer appropriate to offer trivalent vaccine.