Update on influenza and pneumococcal vaccination
So far, 67% of people aged 65 years or more have received influenza vaccination during this season. This is a considerable increase compared with the two preceding seasons. Concurrently, the free pneumococcal vaccine for citizens aged 65 years or more has been in high demand. 59% have currently been vaccinated.
A very large number of people have been vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia this year. Especially people in the large risk group aged 65 years or more. This is clear from recently published data from Statens Serum Institut (SSI).
Thus, SSI has supplied a record-high number of influenza vaccines in the present season. According to the new data, 1,336,527 doses of four-valent influenza vaccines had been supplied on 30 October, along with 86,500 doses of trivalent high-dose influenza vaccine for persons who is 85 years or older.
Record-high number of elderly people vaccinated
Looking into who has been vaccinated it’s seen that approx. 778,000 influenza vaccinations have been recorded for persons aged 65 years or more at this time.
“This corresponds to a preliminary 67% vaccination coverage, which is far higher than we have seen before. In the two preceding seasons, the vaccination coverage in this group reached a modest 52%”, notes Section Head Palle Valentiner-Branth from SSI.
Hence, Denmark is closer than ever before to meeting the WHO recommendation that 75% of elderly people who have turned 65 years old should receive influenza vaccination.
Large discrepancy between the numbers
According to SSI, a considerable discrepancy is seen between the number of vaccines delivered and the number of influenza vaccines registered in the Danish Vaccination Register (DVR).
Thus, even though SSI has supplied a total of 1,423,027 influenza vaccines, DVR has only recorded a total of 1,102,488 influenza vaccinations.
“This discrepancy may be due to lag in notifications to DVR and to the fact that many influenza vaccines are still kept in stock with GPs, pharmacies and vaccination clinics”, explains Palle Valentiner-Branth.
Only vaccinate people belonging to the risk groups
The Danish Health Authority notes that the remaining influenza vaccines should currently only be used for risk groups offered the vaccination free of charge. In addition to elderly people aged 65 years or more, this includes pregnant women, people with chronic conditions and healthcare staff.
High demand for pneumococcal vaccine
The pneumococcal vaccine against pneumonia has also been in high demand this year. This is seen as the authorities introduced an offer of free pneumococcal vaccination with PPV23 (Pneumovax) for citizens who have turned 65 years old, nursing home and residential accommodation residents and citizens who are at a particularly high risk of invasive pneumococcal disease. SSI has supplied all 837,000 vaccine doses previously acquired for general practitioners, pharmacies and vaccination clinics, and the vaccine is therefore currently on back order.
“Currently, approx. 768,000 pneumococcal vaccinations have been registered in DVR. Approx. 686,000 of these vaccines were given to persons aged 65 years or more. This corresponds to a preliminary 59% vaccination coverage. It is encouraging that so many have accepted the vaccination offer”, notes Palle Valentiner-Branth.
An additional 260,000 doses purchased
The vaccination coverage will rise further, because SSI has acquired an additional 260,000 doses of pneumococcal vaccine which are expected to arrive no later than February 2021.
SSI is in contact with the manufacturer to establish if these vaccines may be delivered earlier.
This week, SSI expects to specify how re-ordering will be made possible of the approx. 100,000 doses of influenza vaccine that are currently in blocked storage.
Ordering from the stock of remaining infulenza vaccines
At time of writing, SSI holds a stock of approx. 100,000 doses of four-valent influenza vaccines. SSI will start taking influenza vaccine orders again from the 4th of November 2020.
To ensure a geographically equal distribution of the vaccines, a maximum will be in imposed on orders. Specifically, SSI have just over 3,000 current clients who may order a maximum of 30 vaccines each.
We ask that the maximum number be respected; otherwise, there may not be sufficient vaccines for all clients. Therefore, SSI reserves the right to reduce the number of vaccines ordered.
If any stock remains after the first week, SSI may start taking reorders.
Orders are placed via the SSI’s website: https://bestil.ssi.dk/
Option to return influenza vaccines
SSI clients who hold a minimum of 250 excess influenza vaccine doses, and who assess that they will be unable to administer these vaccines to people covered by the executive order are encouraged to contact the SSI (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the option of returning the vaccines.
For SSI to take back vaccines, a declaration is required stating that the vaccines have been refrigerated since they were received along with the electronic temperature data from the refrigerator monitoring system used. Vaccines that SSI assesses can be returned will be picked up by SSI’s refrigerated transport service.