We would like to answer the following questions regarding the influenza vaccine in Wales:
• Which actors and organizations identify the general need of influenza vaccines every year (number of doses)? And how is it determined how many doses are ordered?
• Where (which organization) is the demand ordered?
• Does the need need to be reported to NHS who can then order?
• Are there time limits on ordering the vaccines? Is there a tender system in Wales that manufacturers can participate in? Thus, it would be interesting for us whether, for example, a national tender system is in place, or if the service providers (e.g. physicians) order the vaccines themselves directly from the manufacturer, and so on.
• Who have to/ is able to order the vaccines?
• When in the year is the need identified and when are vaccines then ordered and delivered?
As we were not able to find all the information on official governmental websites and health authorities, we would like to kindly ask if you could provide us with this information.
Thank you for your recent request dated 6th July 2023.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises Welsh Government (and other UK governments) on the need for specific vaccination programmes in the UK, such as the annual flu vaccination programme, this includes guidance on population groups who would benefit most from vaccination.
Working closely with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and across the four nations, Welsh Government, Public Health Wales and Vaccine Programme Wales (VPW) work together with other key stakeholders to develop the details around the flu programme policy for Wales. This includes eligibility criteria, suitable/reimbursable vaccines, any vaccine uptake aspirations or targets, and advice on maximising vaccine uptake in different population groups.
The number of vaccine doses required is based on the population identified in Wales as being eligible for the vaccination and anticipated/aspirations for vaccine uptake in these population groups.
Public Health Wales does not order vaccines, (apart from securing adequate supply for their staff,) but does support those planning and delivering the service across Wales by providing the number of people eligible for vaccination.
Vaccine Programme Wales are responsible for the ordering, supply, and logistics of other vaccines.
Public Health Wales do not have any role in ordering flu vaccines for Wales.
NHS Wales organisations determine the number of flu vaccines they anticipate requiring, and order as appropriate each year, as do general practices and community pharmacies, sometimes this is individually, and sometimes as a consortium or primary care network.
NHS Wales organisations (such as health boards) may have systems in place to coordinate orders locally and support general practice and community pharmacies with their ordering plans. You will need to contact other NHS organisations individually for this information, as PHW have no jurisdiction over the activities of Health Boards and other NHS organisations and frequently do not have access to the data that they produce. Contact details for other NHS Wales Organisations will be provided below.
There is not a current requirement to report flu vaccine ordering to Public Health Wales.
Injectable flu vaccine is generally ordered prior to the start of the flu vaccination programme as part of annual flu programme planning, we are not aware of any limits on this. If more injectable flu vaccine is required then it may be ordered during the season if it is still available.
The children’s nasal spray vaccine is ordered as required from the start of the season via immform until it is no longer available (either due to supply or expiry). Generally, there is a weekly/monthly ordering limit for this.
For other vaccine programmes the vaccines can be ordered as required at any time of the year.
Thus, it would be interesting for us whether, for example, a national tender system is in place, or if the service providers (e.g. physicians) order the vaccines themselves directly from the manufacturer, and so on.
Health boards, trusts, general practices and community pharmacies are able to order injectable flu vaccine via vaccine manufacturers or suppliers.
The children’s nasal spray vaccine is ordered centrally the web based vaccine ordering platform for England and Wales immform.
Other vaccines given as part of the national Immunisation schedule are ordered directly through immform.
Health boards, trusts, general practices and community pharmacies are able to order injectable flu vaccine.
General practices and health boards are able to order children’s nasal spray vaccine from immform.
Generally injectable flu vaccine are ordered in the winter prior to each flu season, but they may be ordered later.
Injectable flu vaccines are generally available from mid-September, although this varies by manufacturer, and according to any manufacturer’s issues. Generally, they are delivered in staggered deliveries.
Children’s nasal spray vaccines are generally available from the beginning of September although this varies according to any manufacturer’s issues.
Please find the contact details for the other NHS organisations below:
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Powys Teaching Health Board
Digital Health and Care Wales
NHS Shared Services Partnership
Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Velindre University NHS Trust
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of the decision, you should write to the Corporate Complaints Manager, Public Health Wales NHS Trust, 3, Number 2, Capital Quarter, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4BZ.
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint or review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Trust. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner for Wales
Telephone: 029 2067 8400