Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs


Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

October 15, 2018

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. Can patients living in sheltered accommodation receive an off-site flu vaccination?
Yes, if the patient falls into one of the eligible groups as listed in Annex A of the service specification they can receive an off-site vaccination if they live in sheltered accommodation as this is their place of residence.

Q. We are a distance selling pharmacy without a consultation room; can I provide the Flu Vaccination Service to patients in their own homes?
No. Community pharmacy contractors must have a consultation room that meets the requirements outlined in the service specification, even if they intend to vaccinate off-site only.

Q. If a web-based platform such as Sonar or PharmOutcomes is available in my area for the Flu Vaccination Service, do I have to use it?
PSNC would strongly encourage the use of web-based platforms, such as Sonar or PharmOutcomes if they are available in your area as this means that the local NHS England team and/or the LPC will be able to access local data to monitor uptake of the service. It also means the GP notification form may be able to be sent electronically, taking away the need to print out a GP notification form and deliver or fax to the GP surgery.

Q. If a patient has already received a seasonal flu vaccine this year (e.g. in January 2018), do they still need a vaccine during this flu season (e.g. September 2018 – March 2019)?
Yes. If the patient received the vaccine produced for the 2017/18 season, then they will still need a dose of the vaccine produced for the 2018/19 season as the vaccine for 2018/19 contains different strains from the previous year.

In addition, the protection gained from flu vaccine is thought to last for one season only so those eligible to receive the vaccine are recommended to have it every year to ensure on-going protection.

Q. A patient has requested a flu vaccination, but they seem generally unwell; can they receive the vaccine?
Vaccination may be postponed in those who are acutely unwell until they have fully recovered. This is to avoid confusing the differential diagnosis of any acute illness by wrongly attributing any signs or symptoms to the adverse effects of the vaccine.

Further FAQs can be found at:

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