What will be the impact of offering the new vaccine to over-65s?
Over-65s will receive an improved influenza immunisation containing an adjuvant designed to increase immune response, Public Health England (PHE) officials have announced.
In England, the organisation claims the vaccine could reduce GP consultations by 30,000 and hospitalisations by 2,000, and prevent 700 hospital deaths. It is also expected to reduce demand for healthcare services, including A&E.
The adjuvant is regarded as an important benefit in the over-65 age group because their immune systems respond less strongly to standard flu immunisations than younger groups, and because older adults are more likely to suffer complications.
Under 65s including pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions will receive an injected quadrivalent vaccine designed to protect against four flu strains.
Another change to be implemented this autumn is that nasal spray vaccine is being extended to primary school children in year 5, in addition to years 1-4. The programme will eventually roll out to all primary school children.
The evidence shows that due to poor hand hygiene, children tend to be very effective at spreading flu infection, and that protecting them from infection is likely to significantly reduce numbers of flu cases in other groups.
Flu vaccine is usually made available during early October.