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Community pharmacy administers ‘an incredible’ 4.8 million NHS flu vaccines during the 2021-22 season

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Community pharmacy teams have administered almost 4.8 million flu vaccinations under the NHS Flu Vaccination Service in 2021-22, which is 73 per cent more more than the 2.8 million vaccines administered last season.

Data received so far from PharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics has confirmed that pharmacy teams have administered 4,793,124 vaccinations, although the total number will be even higher as some data are still awaited and some pharmacy teams have not used the electronic systems to record administration of vaccines.

The Flu Vaccination Service 2021-22 ended on March 31, 2022 and the total number of vaccinations administered (which will include the figures from pharmacy teams who did not use electronic systems to record administration of vaccines) is expected to be published later in the year by the NHS Business Services Authority.

As outlined in the NHSE&I letter on flu vaccines for 2022-23, the NHS flu vaccination programme will only be offered to patient groups eligible in line with pre-pandemic recommendations next winter.

That means 50 to 64 year olds and primary care staff will not be eligible in 2022-23, which will likely have a downwards impact on the number of vaccinations administered by community pharmacies in the season ahead.

Commenting on the end-of-season figures, Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said: “This season’s flu vaccination figures are just incredible. It is testament to the dedication of community pharmacy teams that they have made such a significant contribution to a key public health programme. This would be an amazing achievement at the best of times, but even more so when pharmacies have been coping with the impact of the pandemic and wider financial and operational pressures.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all contractors and their teams for working so hard to support their local communities.”

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