NHS England is investigating a ‘potential serious incident’ after giving the wrong type of flu vaccine to some over 65s.
A ‘small number’ of people who have received an autumn flu jab have mistakenly been given a standard egg culture influenza vaccine (QIVe), which is known to be less effective.
NHSE said everyone affected will be contacted and given an opportunity to get another type of vaccine if they want but assured that ‘there is no clinical risk’ to the QIVe vaccine and that it still provides some protection.
It was unable to confirm the number of people affected as it said some cases where a QIVe jab was recorded were due to reporting errors.
NHSE has so far delivered 15million flu vaccines in total to over 65s and other priority groups.
NHSE’s investigation was laid bare in a letter sent out by NHS England’s South East regional team, titled: In confidence: potential serious incident in the flu programme.
It said: ‘The NHS regional direct commissioning team are investigating reported administration of QIVe flu vaccine to patients aged 65 years or older by a number of primary care providers (primary care and pharmacy) across the region.
‘QIVe is not recommended for use in this age group due to its poor effectiveness.’