Health and social care workers are four times more likely to be exposed to flu than the general public. Photo: iStock

A new pilot will offer free flu vaccinations to frontline health and social care workers from 26 participating community pharmacies in Northern Ireland.

The service is developed in partnership with the Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board, Public Health Agency and Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland across the Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry/Londonderry areas.

The project aims to provide flu vaccinations for more frontline workers aged above 18 at their convenience in their local pharmacy, as they are four times more likely to be exposed to the flu than the general public.

Joe Brogan, Head of Pharmacy, Health and Social Care Board, said: “Although health trusts offer the flu vaccine at drop in clinics in hospitals, we realise the clinic times may not be convenient for some people and they can now choose to get vaccinated at a local participating community pharmacy. This is particularly important for those working in private care homes, domiciliary care workers or volunteer services such as hospices”.

Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (CPNI) welcomed the pilot as it supports more people to get the vaccine at a time and location that suits them.

“With 123,000 people visiting a community pharmacy every day in Northern Ireland, this unrivalled access to a health professional without the need of an appointment demonstrates that community pharmacy is an ideal, readily available platform capable of making a positive impact on the health and well-being of the local population,” said CPNI Chief Executive Gerard Greene.

If you want to share your stories and/or experiences with us, please send an email to [email protected]