All community pharmacy staff should receive the influenza vaccine as part of a move to increase uptake of the vaccine more widely, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said.
Responding to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) consultation ‘Flu vaccination: increasing uptake’, the Society said it agreed with current policy that all front-line health and social care staff are offered the vaccination on the NHS, but warned that “community pharmacies are not recognised consistently as front-line staff and there needs to be national recognition that they are”.
The response highlighted the fact that the vaccine programme in London regards community pharmacy staff as front-line staff and are given the flu jab.
Elsewhere in the response, the Society highlighted the ways that pharmacists can encourage community uptake of the vaccination. Community pharmacists are “particularly good at identifying informal carers”, the RPS said, adding that 9000 carers in London received the vaccination through the 2016–2017 community pharmacy flu vaccination service.
“Utilising community pharmacists to identify carers, refer them to support services and ensure they are identified as a carer at their GP surgery has proven to work,” the response said.
NICE expects to publish its guidance on increasing uptake of the flu vaccination in January 2018.