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COVID-19: Boots and Lloydspharmacy open flu jab bookings early

Both Lloydspharmacy and Boots have opened their booking systems early this year
Both Lloydspharmacy and Boots have opened their booking systems early this year

Boots has opened its winter flu jab booking early to meet increased demand, already receiving 80,000 bookings, while Lloyds has seen “thousands” of bookings, the multiples said.

The Boots flu jab service, which a company spokesperson said usually doesn’t open for bookings until the third week of August,  opened for online bookings yesterday (August 6), with appointments available from mid-September.

Research commissioned by the health and beauty giant suggests that “almost a third” of patients intend on getting a flu jab this year because they are “more aware of the need to protect themselves against flu as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic”, the multiple said yesterday.

Opening the booking system early will “help more customers plan ahead to get their flu jabs before the winter months and help relieve pressure on the NHS”, Boots added.

Last week (July 30), Lloydspharmacy told C+D it is “likely to see a 50% increase in the uptake of the flu vaccination”, and that it encourages patients to “register their interest in-pharmacy and online early this year”.

Lloydspharmacy has “already received thousands of bookings and is “taking steps” to ensure the jab is delivered in a COVID-19 safe environment, a spokesperson said.

“We usually don’t expect to see any bookings for the flu vaccination until at least late August,” they added.

Getting flu jab “more important than ever”

Anne Higgins, director of pharmacy at Boots UK, said it is “more important than ever for people to consider getting their flu vaccination” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although the flu vaccination does not prevent COVID-19, both of these viruses have an impact on the respiratory system so if you can prevent flu, it can be a huge benefit to your overall health including your immune system,” she added.

Customers will be expected to adhere to social distancing measures, sanitise their hands and wear a face covering throughout their appointment, Boots said.

Has your pharmacy started taking flu vaccine appointment bookings yet?

Dave Downham, Manager

It's almost as if the 2 chains owned by the same owners of the 2 biggest wholesalers have some kind of clue as to when stock will becaome available. Thank goodness that we can be confident that they won't act in their own self-interest and divert stocks away from competitors.

Sunil Patel, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Ridiculous that the specifications have not been published yet with only two weeks to go!!!



Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

So taking bookings now and yet the first day that vaccines are available is unknown. Not one year have we had vaccines arrive on time and not run out or reached quota early on. Most likely we won’t have the vaccine till October and it will run out by mid November due to high demand. Hopefully the most vulnerable will get the vaccine first. 

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I'm looking forward to the part of the year, which always comes, where the manufacturers run out of flu vaccines. I'm confident that we will see a repeat this year.

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

Unfortunately due to the scale of the service this year and how it needs to be handled I think taking bookings now is the way to go. Already doing it myself so I can manage the workload better

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Counting the $$$

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