Community pharmacists in England have administered 150,000 influenza vaccinations in just over three weeks — nearly a quarter of the number achieved in the entire 2015–2016 campaign, according to statistics released by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).
The figure is described as “spectacular” by Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services at the PSNC, which negotiates the community pharmacy contract on behalf of pharmacy contractors in England.
“Once again we are showing that community pharmacy can deliver,” he says. “The number of patients accessing the [vaccination] service through pharmacy shows how much they value the convenience… and every vaccination is another contribution towards NHS targets.”
According to the data collated from the PharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics databases, the 150,000 vaccinations were administered between 1 September 2016 and 22 September 2016. But the PSNC says the true figure will be even higher because not all pharmacies are signed up to the databases.
Between 16 September 2015 and 30 September 2015, pharmacy teams had administered 89,437 flu vaccinations. The total number of vaccinations administered via pharmacies during the entire 2015–2016 flu season was 595,467.
NHS England announced in May 2016 that it was commissioning community pharmacists for the second year running to offer a seasonal influenza vaccination service as part of the national vaccination programme to patients in at-risk groups. It is commissioned as an advanced service under the national community pharmacy contract.
Some 7,998 contractors had signed up to deliver the flu vaccine by 16 September 2016, according to the PSNC.