Pharmacy must help deliver new flu vax programme

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced a huge expansion of the flu vaccination programme for this winter. The addition of newly eligible groups means that more than 30 million people will be included in the programme for 2020-2021.

The newly eligible groups are:

  • People aged 50 to 64
  • Households of those on the shielded patient list
  • Children in the first year of secondary school (year 7)

RPS Director of Pharmacy and Member Experience Robbie Turner said:

“The Government’s plan to expand the flu vaccination programme is excellent news. It will help patients, ready the NHS for the risk of a second peak of coronavirus and relieve winter pressures on A&E and emergency care.

“The seasonal flu campaign helps protect vulnerable groups from winter flu by offering free vaccinations. Flu is a potentially fatal condition and the significant expansion of the programme will protect the health of many more people.

“Pharmacists have been an integral part of the vaccination programme for several years, so it makes sense for them to help deliver this expanded programme. Pharmacies are typically open longer hours than GP surgeries and can often offer vaccinations at any time, making them a very convenient and easy way to protect the public against flu.”