AAH wins £200k contract as Scotland’s sole pharmacy flu jab supplier
NHS Scotland has appointed AAH as its “exclusive solus provider” of seasonal influenza vaccines to community pharmacies for the next 12 months, following a "competitive" bidding process.
AAH announced the deal on Twitter earlier this month (November 12) and wrote in a press statement that it would be supplying flu vaccines to community pharmacies across all 14 regional health boards in mainland Scotland and the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland until October 2022.
Gordon Beattie, director of national procurement at NHS National Services Scotland, confirmed to C+D that AAH was awarded the contract to store and distribute the jabs following “a competitive tender process”.
According to the contract award notice, the total value of the procurement awarded to AAH is £200,000, VAT excluded.
Mr Beattie added: “There is also provision in the contract for the distribution of other products to community pharmacies, for example COVID-19 vaccines, if required in future.
“The contract is initially for 12 months, with an option to extend [it] by up to a further 36 months.”
The provision of this service started on November 3, AAH clarified.
Pharmacies can order four different types of flu vaccine from Seqirus and Sanofi Aventis via AAH, along with associated consumables, the wholesaler added.
Essential to have “robust supply arrangements”
Following the announcement, Community Pharmacy Scotland director of operations Matt Barclay told C+D: “NHS flu service provision varies from health board to health board in Scotland, due to the arrangements set up in legislation that leave it up to local areas to determine service provision for their local populations.
He added: “We believe the community pharmacy network is an accessible and proven deliverer of these types of services, so [it] should be considered. Where NHS provision is in place, it is important to have robust supply arrangements to meet demand and we would hope this provides that through one of the main wholesalers in the market.”
To place an order for flu vaccinations, community pharmacies should sign into or register for AAH Point, the wholesaler advised, or call the AAH customer care team on 0344 561 2266.
In September, Scotland began its expanded 2021/22 flu immunisation programme, allowing “more people than ever” to receive a flu vaccination.
The service includes free jabs for healthcare workers, including community and locum pharmacists., the Scottish Government confirmed at the time.