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Pharmacy teams have received final ‘go-ahead’ from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to start community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service from today (September 1).

Nearly 35 million people will be offered the flu vaccine this year, with more younger people than ever before to be offered the jab.

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said: “The completion of the regulatory changes means community pharmacy teams can begin offering the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service to eligible patients once they receive their first stock of vaccine.

“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”.

A national protocol that was used by many pharmacies participating in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, is also in place to support the flu vaccination for 2021-22.

PSNC has also advised contractors to read the service specification and Patient Group Direction or national protocol before providing the service.

As per the specifications, flu vaccine has to be administered only by registered healthcare professional, authorised under the NHS England and NHS Improvement PGD or any relevant emergency national immunisation protocol.

The service will run from September 1 to March 31, with focus on vaccinating eligible patients by January-end.

“I know pharmacy teams will, once again, show what they are capable of and really get behind the flu service to ensure eligible patients are vaccinated,” Buxton said.

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