Community pharmacy teams not covered by mandatory COVID and flu jab plans
Community pharmacists and their teams are not covered by proposals from the DH to make both COVID-19 and flu vaccinations mandatory for staff in health and care settings in England.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) launched a six-week consultation yesterday (September 9) proposing to make COVID-19 and flu vaccinations mandatory for frontline NHS staff – unless they are medically exempt – as a condition of working in health and care settings.
However, the proposals only apply to “those with face-to-face contact with patients and clients through the delivery of services as part of a Care Quality Commission (CQC)-regulated activity”, the DH said.
“As [community] pharmacies are not CQC regulated…they are not within scope,” a spokesperson for the DH confirmed to C+D.
However, the proposals could extend to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in GP practices, as they are CQC regulated.
From next month, anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England – including pharmacists who work in or visit care homes – will be required by law to be immunised against COVID-19, unless they are medically exempt, following a 16-week grace period for health workers to receive both doses.
The consultation on the mandatory vaccinations “will seek views on the proposals, its scope, and any potential impact it could have on staffing and safety such as reducing staff sickness absence”, the DH explained.
“Staff, healthcare providers, stakeholders, patients and their families are being urged to take part to have their views heard, with a final decision expected this winter,” it said.
Do you think the mandatory vaccination requirement should be extended to all community pharmacy staff? Vote in C+D’s poll below