Pharmacists are vaccine heroes too, says RPS England

RPS writes to Public Health England

RPS in England has written to Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, to highlight the key role of pharmacists in immunisation campaigns, following comments about "vaccine heroes" as part of European Immunisation Week.

Ravi Sharma, Director of England, wrote:

"The Royal Pharmaceutical Society supports European Immunisation Week, which raises awareness of the benefits of vaccination. We agree that vaccinations are vital in keeping whole populations free from ill health and harm. They save lives and improve quality of life.

"We are proud to help celebrate the “vaccine heroes” who protect lives through vaccination but are disappointed the campaign does not reference pharmacists as vaccination providers. This is despite our role in providing vaccinations on a large scale through the NHS national community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service, travel vaccines and other forms of immunisation.

"Pharmacists are also “vaccine heroes” and play a central part in supporting immunisation plans and delivery. We actively promote the importance of immunisation and will continue to provide easily accessible advice, information and support for patients on vaccines.

"We very much hope that future campaigns will adapt to include the frontline profession of pharmacy and promote the vital role that pharmacists up and down the country fulfil day in, day out, in advising on and delivering immunisation campaigns."