Leading providers of influenza vaccinations in pharmacies in England

In 2015–2016, 7,195 pharmacies in England administered influenza vaccinations to almost 600,000 individuals as part of the first year of the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service, with some pharmacies delivering over 1,000 vaccinations.

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Service provision

The proportion of pharmacies that provided the national flu vaccination service in each of the 27 NHS England areas ranged from 53% to 76%.

Top pharmacy vaccinators

The five pharmacies that administered the most vaccinations had highly engaged staff and advertised the service well. Most also had more than one pharmacist; experience in running a flu vaccination service; and were located next to a GP surgery.

Source: Courtesy of Abigail Russell

Charing Pharmacy

  • Location:  Ashford, Kent. Co-located with a GP surgery
  • Vaccines administered: 1,682
  • Secret of success: 
    “We offer a walk-in service to catch patients at all times of day and we constantly remind patients about the service. Counter staff ask every patient if they would like a vaccine and stickers are put on all prescription bags.” –
     Abigail Russell, pharmacist

Source: Courtesy of Nat Mitchell

J W W Allison 

  • Location:  Cockermouth, Cumbria. Located on a high street
  • Vaccines administered: 1,249
  • Secret of success: 
    “If you provide a good service, then people appreciate the accessibility and will come to you. Getting your staff on board is vital to the success of your service. They are generally the ones who will be speaking to eligible patients.”  Nat Mitchell, pharmacist


  • Location:  Holsworthy, North Devon. Located next to a health centre
  • Vaccines administered: 855
  • Secret of success: 
    “We have built up a sense of trust within our local community and customers are happy with the high level of service they receive.”  Catherine English, pharmacy store manager

Source: Courtesy of Liam O’Sullivan

AR Pharmacy

  • Location:  Southampton, Hampshire. Located next to a GP surgery
  • Vaccines administered: 818
  • Secret of success: 
    “People like the convenience. Most tell us that they have previously had to book an appointment and queue at the GP surgery, and the practice clinics tend to be on Saturdays.” 

     Liam O’Sullivan, pharmacist

Source: Courtesy of Michael Ball

Broadway Pharmacy

  • Location:  Fulwood, Lancashire. Located in an urban area with other local businesses
  • Vaccines administered: 812
  • Secret of success: 
    “Our community appreciates the convenience and accessibility of the service and we have a very engaged and 
    proactive team that promotes it to all of our customers.” 

     Michael Ball, pharmacist


Top company vaccinators

Boots administered the most NHS flu vaccinations during the 2015–2016 flu season. Tesco pharmacists administered the most vaccinations relative to the total size of the company’s network

Vaccination group uptake

Source: Data from PharmOutcomes. Covers 362,978 patients vaccinated in pharmacies during the 2015–2016 season

Most NHS flu vaccinations administered in pharmacies were to those aged >65 years. However, pharmacists still only administered 3.9% of vaccinations to this group overall, with the majority of those aged >65 years being vaccinated in GP surgeries (93.5%).

**Includes: household contact of immunocompromised individual (0.5%), chronic kidney disease (0.4%); chronic liver disease (0.3%); person in long-stay residential or home (0.2%) and splenic dysfunction (0.2%).

Top vaccines

Novartis’ Optaflu was the vaccine most commonly administered by pharmacists.
Vaccine ManufacturerNo. administered NHS list price* 
*Not including deals 
Optaflu Novartis 171,073 £6.59 
Influenza vaccine Sanofi 131,495 £6.59 
Influvac BGP Products 106,614 £5.22 
Influenza vaccine Pfizer 77,200 £6.59 
Imuvac BGP Products 64,584 £6.59 
Agrippal Novartis 41,820 £5.85 
Enzira Pfizer 1,428 £5.25 
Fluarix Tetra GSK 1,253 £9.94 



Sources: NHS Business Services Authority; Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee; Public Health England. 

Infographic: MAG

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, October 2016, Vol 297, No 7894;297(7894):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201857

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