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Flu wars: Which pharmacy chain is offering the cheapest jabs this season?

After last season’s private flu jab price war, which large pharmacy multiple is offering the cheapest vaccine in autumn 2023? 

Most pharmacy chains have upped their prices for private flu jabs after last year’s price slashing.

Boots is charging the most for private flu vaccines at £19.95 for those ineligible for free jabs on the NHS.

Well was the first to launch its private flu jab service earlier this summer (June 1), offering the service for £17.99.

It was swiftly followed by Rowlands, which is pricing its private flu immunisations at £16.99.

Tesco announced last week (September 8) that it would begin offering its private jabs for £13 from this week (September 11).

Both Asda and Morrisons have met their rival at a similar price point, pricing their own flu vaccinations at £12. Morrisons told C+D, however, that those without a Morrisons More card will be charged an additional £2.

Superdrug has beaten the supermarket pharmacies to the title of pharmacy chain offering the cheapest vaccination, charging £8.79 for those with a free Superdrug health and beauty card. Non-members, however, will still have to pay £16.99.

Meanwhile, Lloydspharmacy has not confirmed the price of its private flu jabs this year, after charging £12 last year.

Pharmacies are also offering free jabs to those eligible to get their vaccine on the NHS, which includes adults who are 65 or over, pregnant, are in long-stay residential care or those who have certain health conditions, among others.

 

Matching the independents

 

This year, the private flu jabs offered by pharmacy chains cost roughly the same as those offered by some independent pharmacies.

Richard Hackett, head of pharmacy at Weldricks, told C+D that private flu jabs were available from yesterday (September 13) for £17.90 - 9p cheaper than Well pharmacy and more than £2 cheaper than Boots.

Kamsons pharmacy, which runs its flu service from October to March, will price its private vaccines at £18.

 

How do prices compare to last season?  

 

Last year saw a private flu jab price war, with several multiples cutting their rates throughout the season.

Well’s prices have increased the most since January, jumping to £17.99 after being offered free to over-18s previously.

The multiple had initially charged £15 for its flu jab before slashing the price to just £10 in December and removing the charge entirely the following month.

Boots’ prices have risen by £10 since last December, when the multiple slashed its jabs to £9.95 from a starting point of £16.99 last season.

Tesco club card holders will be charged £8 more than last year, while those without the discount will be paying an extra £2. Rowlands is also upping its private flu jab price by £2.

Asda is charging its customers £7.02 more than it did in December, when the supermarket halved its original £9.98 price point to £4.98, while Morrisons is charging its card holders £2 more and other customers £4 more.

Superdrug is the only chain to cut prices this year, offering its vaccinations for 20p less than last Christmas to its health and beauty card members.

It comes as community pharmacy leaders have criticised “short notice” changes to the start date of the NHS flu and COVID-19 vaccination services, after the government announced that both programmes would be brought forward.

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