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Community pharmacists in England administered 1,431,538 flu vaccinations to patients under the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service in 2018/19.¹

On 20th July 2015, PSNC announced that community pharmacies in England can offer a seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination service for patients in at-risk groups.  The service can be provided by any community pharmacy that meets the expected regulations, has had the relevant training and notified NHS England they are offering the service.

The provision of flu vaccinations though local pharmacies, with no need for a prior appointment, increases access to this public health initiative to a wider cohort of patients who would not have previously accessed it.

The number of community pharmacies which provided the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service in 2018/19 was 9,071 (78.2% of all community pharmacies in England).

The average number of vaccinations carried out by each participating pharmacy was 158, although five contractors greatly exceeded this by completing over 1,000 vaccinations each, with one administering over 2,500 vaccinations.

Compared to the 2017/18 flu season, the NHSBSA figures show that the total number of flu vaccinations administered in 2018/19 was higher by 87,076 with 84 more contractors having provided the service.

Source: https://psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/advanced-services/flu-vaccination-service/flu-vaccination-statistics/flu-vaccination-data-for-2018-19/


Additional support and commonly asked questions.

  • Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2019/2020
  • What are the main changes for the 2019/2020 service?
  • Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2018/19
  • Which patients are eligible to receive a vaccine under the NHS community pharmacy Advanced Flu Vaccination Service?
  • Can children receive a flu vaccination under the community pharmacy Advanced Flu Vaccination Service?
  • Are pharmacy team members an eligible group for flu vaccination within the Advanced Service?
  • Are social care staff eligible for flu vaccination within the Advanced Service?
  • Do I need to print and sign the addendum?
  • What should I do if a patient returns to the pharmacy and says she was given a non-recommended vaccine for her age group?
  • More FAQs
  • Useful Links
What are the main changes for the 2019/2020 service?

PSNC has worked with NHS England and NHS Improvement to agree some changes to the community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service for 2019/20, including negotiating an uplift to fees for the second consecutive year.

The changes include:

  • The fee for the service will increase to £8.08 per administered dose plus an additional fee of £1.50 per vaccination, making the total payment £9.58;
  • Due to the proven success of the service, contractors are no longer required to ask patients to complete a patient questionnaire after they have received a flu vaccination;
  • Notification of the patient having received a vaccination can no longer be sent to the patient’s GP practice by fax – this supports the Health and Social Care Secretary’s tech vision to ban fax machines in the NHS by April 2020; and
  • Claims for payments must now be made using the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) platform – PSNC has already encouraged contractors to register for MYS as the first step for preparing for the 2019/20 Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

Source: https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/flu-vaccination-service-2019-20-psnc-negotiates-fee-uplift-and-agrees-changes-to-the-service/

Which patients are eligible to receive a vaccine under the NHS community pharmacy Advanced Flu Vaccination Service?

The eligible groups for the 2019/20 service are listed in this PSNC BRIEFING.

Can children receive a flu vaccination under the community pharmacy Advanced Flu Vaccination Service?

No. The NHS Advanced Flu Vaccination Service is for patients aged 18 years and over who fall into an eligible group; it does not cover children.

Are pharmacy team members an eligible group for flu vaccination within the Advanced Service?

No. Employers may wish to offer pharmacy staff flu vaccinations as part of their occupational health arrangements, but this cannot be undertaken as part of the Advanced Service. If a pharmacy team member is eligible for an NHS flu vaccination and falls into one of the eligible patient groups for the Advanced Service, they would be able to use the service at the pharmacy.

Are social care staff eligible for flu vaccination within the Advanced Service?

Yes. NHS England will provide free flu vaccinations for social care staff who offer direct patient care this flu season. This year, the free jab will also be extended to include health and care staff in the voluntary managed hospice sector who offer direct patient care.

Free-flu-vaccinations-for-social-care-and-hospice-staff

Extension-of-NHS-seasonal-influenza-vaccination

Do I need to print and sign the addendum?

Pharmacists are not required to sign the addendum, but it is important that they are aware that the PGD allows them to re-vaccinate a patient. It is strongly recommended that a copy of the addendum is printed and attached to the PGD in the pharmacy to ensure that new pharmacists signing up to the service are made aware of it.

What should I do if a patient returns to the pharmacy and says she was given a non-recommended vaccine for her age group?

For example, a patient who is 65 years old and received the QIV instead of the recommended aTIV:

Follow the process in PHE’s recently updated Inactivated influenza vaccine guidance for healthcare practitioners:

Inform the patient of the error and its potential implications

Advise the patient that although the QIV and aTIV will offer some protection to all age groups, individuals aged 65 years and over (particularly those more than 75 years of age) may not respond as well to the QIV as they would to the aTIV, and individuals aged under 65 years will not benefit from the opportunity to make protection against an additional flu strain if they have been given aTIV;

Following a discussion about the risks and benefits, advise the patient that they could, if they wish, be given a second dose of the vaccine they should have had

The clear benefit is the additional protection that may be offered by the correct vaccine, but they should be alerted to the potential increased risk of a local or systemic reaction.  Although there is no data available on the safety and effectiveness of administering a second flu vaccine shortly after the first in adults, this advice is based on general principles of vaccination, experience of flu revaccination following cold chain and administration incidents and information about the high dose flu vaccine used in the United States (which contains four times the amount of antigen that is in a single dose of QIV or aTIV).

If a decision is made to offer the vaccine the patient should have received, it is recommended that this is done as soon as possible after the first dose was given and ideally within a week. This will enable protection to be made as soon as possible. It can, however, still be given if more than a week has elapsed.

This advice also applies to those who have inadvertently been given non-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV).

Further Resources:

https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/patient-leaflet-when-patients-are-asked-to-return-to-the-pharmacy-for-ativ/

Patient Leaflet – coming back to the pharmacy for your flu jab

More FAQs

For more Flu Vaccination FAQs click here


References
(1) PSNC

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