Following a reported lack of uptake of the season flu vaccination from GP surgeries the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Pharmacy Voice and PSNC said:
"We share the concern of the RCGP about the overall rates of flu vaccination so far this year, which are disappointing. Having a flu vaccination is still the best protection we have against an illness which can be severe. We too would encourage all vulnerable people and carers to have their NHS vaccinations.
Flu vaccination has been a focus for many community pharmacies this year, as for the first time pharmacies in England have been able to offer NHS flu vaccinations to all eligible people aged 18 years or over as part of a national scheme. This is making it easier than ever for the public to get a flu jab, and so far hundreds of thousands of people have chosen to have their flu vaccination in community pharmacies.
Community pharmacies must report any NHS flu vaccinations they give to the patient’s GP practice, either on the day of the vaccination or the following day, and all data is being collated in accordance with national guidance. GP practices can then enter the information into patient records. This is another area in which secure access by pharmacy to patient records would help to keep clinical records up to date and to save time for GP practices.
Community pharmacies will continue to work hard through the flu season to encourage eligible patients to have their vaccinations. Community pharmacy offers convenient high street access as an alternative for the public, including historically hard to reach groups, and we will continue to work with GPs to try to increase overall uptake of the vaccination."