This is the fourth year that NHS England has commissioned a national community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Advanced Service, meaning all pharmacies in England can offer an NHS vaccine to eligible patients aged 18 or over, subject to meeting certain requirements. Before the launch of the nationally commissioned service, community pharmacies had been offering flu vaccinations to patients, both NHS funded and privately, for several years.
Community pharmacy flu vaccination services can effectively augment the vaccination service provided by GP practices and provide choice for the patient as to where they are vaccinated.
Information on the community pharmacy based service:
1. Consultation rooms
Most pharmacies now have a private consultation room – which is a requirement to be able to offer the community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service – meaning community pharmacists have the facilities to offer vaccination services in a private setting.
Many pharmacies have been offering flu vaccinations, both privately and NHS funded, for several years so a significant number of pharmacists are fully trained as vaccinators.
All pharmacists providing the service will have undertaken training which covers the National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners. Face-to-face training on injection technique and basic life support is undertaken at least every three years.
Pharmacies will have an anaphylaxis kit available as per the recommendations in the Green Book and pharmacists will undertake face-to-face basic life support training at least every three years.
Pharmacies will use the same vaccines as all other healthcare providers, sourcing from the list of approved vaccinations outlined in the annual flu letter.