More than half a million flu vaccinations have been administered through pharmacies during this season’s flu vaccination service in less than five weeks, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has announced.
At the same point of the flu vaccination programme last year, around 450,000 vaccinations had been delivered via pharmacies, but the PSNC warned that these figures may not be directly comparable because of recording differences.
The total number of vaccinations already administered “will be even higher” as some pharmacy teams are not using the PharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics electronic systems to record administration of vaccines, the PSNC said.
However, already more pharmacies have signed up to deliver the vaccine this winter than signed up to the service during the whole of last year’s programme. The most recent figures show that 8,936 pharmacies had so far signed up on the NHS Business Services Authority’s website to provide the Flu Vaccination Service this winter, compared with 8,451 who signed up at some point in the 2016–2017 season.
PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said the number of vaccinations carried out by pharmacy was a “significant milestone”.
“To get there in just a few weeks is an absolutely brilliant achievement by community pharmacy teams, especially at a time when we know they have never been busier or under more pressure.
“Once again community pharmacy teams are showing just how dedicated they are to offering the best service possible to patients; and just what pharmacy can do if given the right opportunities,” he said.
Community pharmacists in England administered 950,765 flu vaccinations to patients under the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service in 2016–2017.
The latest flu vaccination service statistics can be viewed on the PSNC website.