Every immunisation programme is different, but this is an outline of what took place before the Men B vaccine was included in the childhood immunisation programme in the UK.
The process starts from the vaccine being recommended by the Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and goes through to the vaccine being administered.
The procurement steps below are taken from the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) requirements (as this is where the contract would be advertised) and Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) tendering requirements.
It does not assume timescales, or the length of time each separate part of the process should take, as this can vary. The only timescale acknowledged is issuing of the 10 day standstill notice.
The vaccine steps
- JCVI recommends the introduction of the Men B vaccine to Department of Health (DoH)
- DoH accepts the recommendation
- DoH produce a business case for the treasury
- Treasury approves business case (may take more than one version)
- Tender advertisement placed in OJEU
- Potential providers may be asked to complete a pre-qualifying questionnaire (PQQ) or submit an expression of interest
- DoH sends out invitations to tender
- DoH evaluate tender submissions (which may include price negotiation)
- Preferred provider selected
- 10 day standstill notice issued
- Provider formally announced/contract awarded
- Launch date agreed and confirmed
- Ensure there is an adequate supply of Men B vaccine ready for launch
- Nurses and other health professionals will need training before launch date – covering administering the Men B vaccine and potential side-effects, i.e. higher temperature after immunisation, etc. This could also involve setting up the process to give each baby a dose of paracetamol before the vaccine is given
- Information for health professionals will need to be produced, printed and disseminated prior to launch
- A communications plan is produced, ensuring provision of information for parents, carers and the public
- NHS supply chain impact addressed. Men B vaccine delivery plan and logistics need to be in place prior to launch date
- Vaccine launched in childhood immunisation schedule