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‘Fantastic’ uptake: Number of pharmacy flu jabs edges closer to 1m mark

Community pharmacies have already given almost one million flu jabs this season, as pharmacy teams tell C+D uptake might surpass last year’s.

Community pharmacy teams administered 948,578 flu vaccines between September 1 and October 31 this year, according to provisional data gathered by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee from entries into the PharmOutcomes and Sonar systems.

Independent pharmacies, such as Southampton-based A R Pharmacy, were some of the most prolific deliverers of flu jabs in England during the 2021/22 season.

A R Pharmacy delivered a whopping 10,050 vaccinations throughout last year’s flu season. Its superintendent James Tibbs estimated that, this season, the pharmacy will surpass last year’s record.

Read more: Which pharmacies administered the most flu jabs last season?

Flu vaccine uptake has been “fantastic” so far, he told C+D today (November 4). “I think we’re up to about 8,500,” he added.

Lancashire-based Broadway Pharmacy is also on track to surpass its number of jabs administered last year, its superintendent Mike Ball told C+D.

One of last year’s big hitters, Broadway Pharmacy carried out some 8,740 flu vaccinations in 2021/2022.

The same goes for Donnington Pharmacy in Telford, which completed 7,999 flu vaccinations last year, according to NHS Business Services Authority data.

Its director Mohammed Khile told C+D the team has delivered between 6,000-7,000 jabs to date this season.


Reasons for strong uptake


Mr Tibbs attributed the strong uptake of flu vaccines at A R pharmacy to the fact that it also provides COVID-19 vaccines.

“Many people want to have it at the same time,” he explained.

Read more: Will Quince gets flu jab and blood pressure check at Boots pharmacy

Mr Ball echoed Mr Tibbs in saying that “lots of patients [at Broadway Pharmacy] have taken the opportunity for co-administration of both COVID-19 and flu vaccines”.

Many peoples’ attitudes towards vaccinations are changing, Mr Tibbs suggested. “They tend to be a lot more positive about them.”

A R pharmacy has this year seen many patients “who’ve have never had a flu jab before”, he added, especially vulnerable patients and those aged under 65.

For Mr Khile, strong uptake of flu vaccines has been down to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 opened [patients’] eyes,” he said. “In previous years, there was demand for [flu vaccines], but it wasn’t like this.”

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