Last week (June 23), Boots UK announced that more than 85,000 people had already signed up to be notified when winter flu jab appointments are available within a week of the waiting list launching.
The number of people interested in a flu jab this year has increased by 57% compared with the same period last year, when this figure was 54,000, Boots said in a statement.
Ordering more vaccines ahead of busy flu season
Boots explained it is ready to tackle the increased demand by creating dedicated areas for flu vaccinations in some of its pharmacies, similar to those it set up to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots UK, said that getting a flu vaccine is crucial this year.
“To help meet the demand, we are planning to create special hubs to deliver flu vaccinations at dedicated areas in some of the pharmacies, rather than relying on our consultation rooms alone,” he added.
Lloydspharmacy is also gearing up to deal with a “significant flu season”.
“We are making sure that we have the flu vaccine in abundance in the right place, at the right time. We'll be encouraging our customers to take up the flu vaccine at the earliest opportunity in order to protect against the virus,” a Lloydspharmacy spokesperson told C+D.
The multiple is also undergoing a “significant training programme” to account for the change in requirements brought by COVID-19. It will also be launching a new booking platform that will make it easier for patients to book their vaccinations in advance, it said.
COVID-19 booster jabs
Lloydspharmacy also expressed an interest in delivering COVID-19 booster jabs, should pharmacies be asked to offer these in the future.
“COVID-19 booster trials are still ongoing, and so we await the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and Government advice on this and the future interaction with national flu programmes,” the spokesperson said.
Well Pharmacy echoed these feelings, expecting “our busiest flu season” as well as the chance to play a bigger part in COVID-19 booster vaccines.
“To help meet that demand we have increased our order of flu vaccines. We recognise the important role we play in protecting our local communities from flu and we hope that community pharmacy can play a bigger part in any COVID booster vaccines this winter,” a spokesperson told C+D.