The RPS is calling for pharmacists to have a greater role in providing childhood vaccinations, following the National Audit Office findings into the uptake of pre-school vaccinations rates. The NAO report found that NHS England has missed the Department of Health & Social Care’s performance standard for uptake of nearly all routine pre-school vaccinations in England since 2012-13.
Claire Anderson, Chair of the RPS in England said:
“We have seen huge surges in the uptake of the flu vaccination across the UK since its introduction into community pharmacy, and making other vaccines available in pharmacies has the same potential. Pharmacists can play a greater role in the provision of childhood vaccinations and this could help to significantly increase uptake levels.
"Pharmacists and their teams are highly accessible where people live and work. Parents of young children are known to be high users of community pharmacy. Vaccination by pharmacists will help raise vaccination rates to protect our children from potentially harmful diseases.
"Patients should have a range of options for accessing vaccines, to make the process easier, and ultimately protect more people from harmful diseases. This can be easily done, but pharmacies would require appropriate support, infrastructure and resources to effectively deliver this.”