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Pharmacies in England administered almost 4.8 million flu jabs in 2021/22, PSNC confirms

Pharmacy teams in England administered an “incredible” almost 4.8 million flu vaccinations in the 2021/22 season, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has confirmed.

According to data from PharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics – which the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has been collating since the beginning of the flu season in September last year – at least 4,793,124 vaccinations were administered as of March 31, when the season came to an end.

PSNC cautioned that this number could be higher, “as some data is still awaited and some pharmacy teams have not used the electronic systems to record administration of vaccines”.

However, the total number available at present represents a 73% increase on last year’s figures – when pharmacy teams in England administered 2,766,332 flu jabs.

The NHS Business Services Authority is expected to publish the finalised data for the 2021/22 season later this year, PSNC added.

 

More than 2 million doses to 50–64-year-olds

 

According to provisional data analysed by PSNC, a staggering 2,211,728 doses – or 46.2% of the total number of doses administered by community pharmacy teams – were given to those in the 50-64-years-old cohort in 2021/22.

Meanwhile, 1,892,539 doses were administered to those aged 65 or over.

People aged 50-64 and primary care staff will no longer be eligible for a free flu jab in the 2022/23 season, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) told providers in a letter last month (March 2).

This decision, PSNC said, will likely “have a downwards impact on the number of vaccinations administered by community pharmacies in the season ahead”.

 

2021/22 figures “just incredible”

 

Commenting on pharmacy teams’ efforts during the past flu season, PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said: “This season’s flu vaccination figures are just incredible. It is testament to the dedication of community pharmacy teams that they have made such a significant contribution to a key public health programme.

“This would be an amazing achievement at the best of times, but even more so when pharmacies have been coping with the impact of the pandemic and wider financial and operational pressures.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all contractors and their teams for working so hard to support their local communities.”

 

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