Flu Vaccination Service

Flu Vaccination Service

Community pharmacy has been providing flu vaccinations under a nationally commissioned service since September 2015.

Each year from September through to March the NHS runs a seasonal flu vaccination campaign aiming to vaccinate all patients who are at risk of developing more serious complications from the virus. The accessibility of pharmacies, their extended opening hours and the option to walk in without an appointment have proved popular with patients seeking vaccinations.

The 2021/22 flu vaccination programme

Vaccination of frontline primary care health care workers and available funding letter (29th September 2021)

National flu immunisation programme update letter (17th July 2021)

Updated NHSE&I letter on flu vaccines for the 2021/22 season (1st April 2021)

Guidance published on accessing DHSC flu vac stock

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published guidance on how community pharmacy contractors will be able to access supplies of flu vaccines procured centrally by the Government. In order to achieve even higher vaccine uptake rates compared to last year, DHSC has secured an additional supply of influenza vaccines, as a temporary measure for this year only.

DHSC has ordered additional stocks of QIVc, QIVe and QIVr, with the stock arriving in November. DHSC will sell some of their centrally procured stock to the pharmacy wholesalers, for onward sale to pharmacy contractors.

Read more about how to access the stock

Frontline primary care staff now covered by the service

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) announced on 29th September 2021 that they had secured additional funding to support provision of flu vaccinations to frontline primary care staff during the 2021/22 flu season.

This follows repeated requests from PSNC, made over several years, for pharmacy staff to be included as a cohort for vaccination in the NHS Flu Vaccination Service. Following these requests, earlier this year, NHSE&I successfully sought additional funding, with an agreement on a change to the service being reached with PSNC in August 2021.

Frontline staff employed by primary care contractors (community pharmacies, primary medical services, primary dental services and general ophthalmic services) will be able to have a flu vaccination under the pharmacy flu vaccination service in the 2021/22 season. Non-clinical staff employed by primary care contractors who are directly involved with the provision of NHS services on a day-to-day basis and who have face-to-face contact with patients will also be eligible for vaccination.

Where pharmacy contractors have already vaccinated their staff via other means, NHSE&I has agreed that they can claim for these vaccinations via their Advanced service claim on the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service portal.

Read more about this change to the service

Click on a link below for more information.

Service specification for the flu vaccination Advanced Service 2021/22 (updated 29th September 2021)
The service specification describes the requirements for provision of the service and it is essential reading for all pharmacists providing the service.

National Patient Group Direction 2021/22 
The national Patient Group Direction (PGD) provides the legal mechanism for administration of flu vaccine under the service; it should not be used for any other purpose. Enquiries regarding the use of this PGD should be directed to ENGLAND.communitypharmacy@nhs.net

National protocol for inactivated influenza vaccine 2021/22
This protocol provides a legal mechanism for the administration of inactivated influenza vaccine by appropriately trained persons in accordance with regulation 247A of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMR 2012), inserted by The Human Medicines (Coronavirus and Influenza) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Note: although the protocol allows provision of flu vaccinations to people aged from 6 months to under 50 years in a clinical risk group, the service specification for community pharmacy is for the provision of a flu vaccination to patients aged 18 years and older who are specified in Annex A of the specification.

Amendments to the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services) (England) Directions 2013
The Secretary of State Directions provide the legal basis for the provision of the service.

PSNC Briefing 023/21: Guidance on the 2021/22 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service
This PSNC Briefing provides guidance for community pharmacy contractors and their teams on the 2021/22 NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service in England.

Additional resources for pharmacy teams

Guidance on use of Personal Protective Equipment

Training requirements and resources

Consent, record keeping and data requirements

Communicating and working with GP practices

Vaccinating outside the consultation room & off-site

Promoting the service to patients

Funding, claiming payment and post-payment verification

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Information and resources for LPCs

Flu Vaccination Service statistics


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