With less than three months of flu season still remaining, a total of 1,490,121 flu vaccinations have already been delivered to patients as part of the national service, according to data collated by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) by January 8.
In total, community pharmacists delivered 1,431,538 flu vaccinations under the 2018-19 service. This means an extra 58,583 patients have already been vaccinated by pharmacists during the current flu season.
Almost two thirds (62%) of those who received their flu jab from a community pharmacy are aged 65 or over, according to PSNC data. The second largest cohort is under-65s with chronic (long-term) respiratory disease (12%), followed by diabetic patients (8%).
However, PSNC said that some contractors “are not able to use or have decided not to use electronic systems to record the administration of vaccines”. This means the data does not represent the totality of patients vaccinated up to January 8.
“The message for people to get their flu jab has been driven home this winter and this shows the growing role community pharmacists can play as the go-to place for people with minor illnesses and medicine needs, while easing the pressures on busy GPs,” said Bruce Warner, NHS England deputy chief pharmaceutical officer.
PSNC announced last August that pharmacy contractors in England will receive an extra 10p for every vaccination offered during the 2019-20 national flu service.