Alliance Healthcare and AAH Pharmaceuticals told C+D last week that they already held the stock in their warehouses, and had started distributing it to contractors.
Pharmacies in England were given the legal go-ahead to roll out this year’s flu service on September 1. However, Nat Mitchell, pharmacist and director at JWW Allison & Sons in Cockermouth, Cumbria took to Twitter to report he had been warned to expect a two-week wait before receiving his vaccines.
Mr Mitchell told C+D that he expected his deliveries of the vaccine by September 14 at the earliest – despite ordering from three different wholesalers.
Martin Sawer, executive director of wholesaler body the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) said delivery of contractors’ orders began at the end of last month. However, both the HDA and Alliance Healthcare confirmed that some “final deliveries” of vaccines are due to arrive in pharmacies over the next two weeks.
Pre-orders going well
Pharmacy London chief executive Rekha Shah said Alliance’s daily orders of the Pfizer vaccine and pre-orders of “another brand” had helped many pharmacies in the capital begin rolling out the flu service early on launch day.
Alliance said orders for the vaccine are “broadly in line [or] slightly higher” than last year – when pharmacists in England delivered almost 600,000 jabs, despite paperwork delays meaning the service was launched two weeks behind schedule.
David Powick, proposition manager at AAH Pharmaceuticals, told C+D communicating with the Department of Health about the service had been “simpler” the second time around because the wholesaler knew “what to expect and when to expect it”.
Pharmacists discuss the rollout on Twitter
@CandDJamesW I order from three suppliers. Earliest date is 14th September.— Allisons Chemist (@AllisonsChemist) September 1, 2016
@CandDGrace Alliance has stock of Pfizer vaccine on daily orders as well as has supplied preorders of another brand to phcies already— Rekha Shah (@KcwLpc) September 2, 2016