A short explanation of the process from selection, invitation and vaccination.

Selection

  • Every year, GPs use their electronic patient dossiers to select the patients in their practice who have grounds for having a flu vaccination. They do the same for those patients who live in rest homes for the elderly or nearby asylum-seekers' centres.
  • Geriatricians select the indicated residents of nursing homes and doctors select the indicated residents of those living in homes and hospitals for people with a mental handicap.
  • As of the 2010-2011 season, health care organizations housing people with an indication for influenza vaccination but who have no family doctor of their own can order vaccines via the NPG on their behalf. This is aimed at raising the security of supply of the vaccines, and applies, for instance, to mental health care institutions and rehabilitation centres.

Invitation

  • Every year in October and November, GPs invite their indicated patients to come in for an influenza vaccination. 96% of these GPs send their patients a personal invitation for this vaccination using a letter or a notification card. About 4% (LINH 2009) of GPs place an announcement in a free local paper rather than sending personal invitations.
  • The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment ) and the Dutch College of General Practitioners (Nederlands Huisartsen Genootschap, NHG) have produced a public information folder on the influenza vaccination. As of 2009 the NPG has paid to make this folder available free to general practitioners; as of 2010 it is also available free to the care organizations who can order influenza vaccine via the NPG. It is intended that from 2009 onwards GPs include the folder with the annual invitation. In 2009 the National Influenza Prevention Foundation (Stichting Nationaal Programma Grieppreventie, SNPG) distributed 3,825,000 folders to the NPG programme's implementation partners, mostly general practices. 
  • To support the invitations, GPs, pharmacies, hospitals, public health services and others also put up posters reminding people of the influenza vaccination.

Vaccination

  • The vaccinations are performed between mid-October and mid-November, usually in a health care organization or general practice but sometimes also at a location in the vicinity of general practice (e.g. a gym or church hall). Sometimes the GP performs the vaccinations alone (almost 3% in 2009, LINH), but this is usually done together with the practice assistant and/or support worker (79%). In almost 18% of general practices the vaccinations are performed by the assistant or support worker alone.
  • In 2009 about 44% of GPs sent reminders to all or some of their patients who did not respond to the first invitation (LINH). This is a lower figure than in previous years (about 55%), possibly because of the greatly increased workload brought about by New Influenza A(H1N1).