The funding from the NHS vaccination budget for flu vaccination service 2021/22 season remains at £9.58 plus the cost of the vaccine.

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have confirmed for those contractors providing off-site flu vaccinations will be able to apply for a contribution towards reasonable additional costs.

Details of how to apply for such funding are yet to be published by NHSE&I, but they are expected to mirror arrangements that were in place for the 2020/21 flu season, said Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).

NHSE&I has published the service specification for the 2021/22 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination (CPFV) Advanced Service on Monday (August 2). The document formally starts the countdown to the commencement of what is expected to be the largest ever community pharmacy flu vaccination programme on Wednesday 1st September 2021.

It has also confirmed that they are looking to have a National Protocol in place to support the flu vaccination programme for 2021/22. A national protocol has already been used by many pharmacies participating in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. It could be used by contractors as an alternative to the PGD, where they are able to make use of the skill mix flexibilities allowed by the protocol.

The final decision on authorising use of a national protocol is made by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. At the time of publishing this news story, a protocol has yet to be published. If a protocol is published, an announcement on this will be provided to contractors via this website.

Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, PSNC said: “The Committee is disappointed that the hard work undertaken by contractors and their teams last year and the increasing costs they are experiencing in providing services has not been recognised by NHSE&I in an increase in the funding for the service this season. PSNC will continue to make the case to the NHS for increased funding for the service in future years.

“If all goes as the Government hopes, this year the flu vaccination programme will once again break records for the number of people protected against flu. Pharmacy teams played a major role in the growth in vaccinations administered last year and I know they will be keen to repeat that success in 2021/22, helping reduce the risk to individuals and supporting the wider NHS winter effort.

“This year patients are at risk from flu and Covid-19, so it is important that they are able to access relevant vaccinations as early as possible; contractors will want to ensure they offer flu vaccination to patients as soon as supplies become available.”

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