The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has moved to reassure community pharmacy contractors that there is no seasonal flu vaccination shortage.
The pharmacy negotiating body said flu vaccinations were still available within the pharmacy wholesaler market so pharmacies needing vaccinations should be able to source them.
Its announcement followed media reports about seasonal flu vaccination shortages in pharmacies, in particular a
report which suggested that some pharmacies it contacted did not have stock.
Alastair Buxton, PSNC director of NHS Services, said that normally at this time of year community pharmacies would be running stocks down as part of their stock management systems. But with increasing flu levels this year, “many are likely to continue vaccinating people for the immediate future”.
“While stock is clearly not as plentiful as it was at the start of the season, supplies are available within the pharmacy wholesale market, and with community pharmacies often receiving two deliveries of medicines per day from wholesalers, most should be able to restock quickly if needed,” he said.
With pharmacies offering walk-in vaccination services he added that it was “not too late to have a flu vaccination, and people aged under 65 years in at-risk groups are particularly encouraged to do so”.
During the 2017–2018 flu season so far, more than 1.175 million vaccinations have been given by pharmacies under the community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccine service, according to figures provided to PSNC by PharmOutcomes, Sonar Informatics and NHS England/NHS Business Services Authority.