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 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service (Flu Vaccination Service) supports NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) in providing an effective vaccination programme and it aims:

  1. to sustain and maximise uptake of flu vaccine in at risk groups by continuing to build the capacity of community pharmacies as an alternative to general practice; and
  2. to provide more opportunities and improve convenience for eligible patients to access flu vaccinations.

Community pharmacy access to the Government flu vaccine stock

This year the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has secured an additional supply of flu vaccines from four manufacturers. Most of these supplies are not stock that would ordinarily be available in the UK, as they are the result of vaccine suppliers running their production cycles for longer than they had originally planned. As a consequence of this, these extra vaccines will be delivered from the start of November through to the end of December.

PSNC is continuing to work with DHSC on the details of how community pharmacies will be able to access vaccines from this central backup stock. In our discussions, we are stressing the urgency of the details being confirmed so that contractors can plan and manage their vaccination programmes across November and December.

GPs received details of their ordering systems on 9th October, but like community pharmacies, they will have to await delivery of the stock in November. DHSC confirmed in that guidance: “A pre-set proportion of this additional stock will also be made available to Trusts and community pharmacy, and the arrangements for them to order against this stock will be confirmed shortly.”

Community pharmacy contractors will have fair access to the backup stocks in due course and PSNC will ensure further details are published as soon possible.

Click on a link below for more information.

Service specification for the flu vaccination Advanced Service 2020/21
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 2020/21 
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

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: Guidance on the 2020/21 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service
This PSNC Briefing provides guidance for community pharmacy contractors and their teams on the 2020/21 NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service in England.

PSNC’s Digital Guide to the 2020/21 Flu Vaccination Service

Additional resources for pharmacy teams

Guidance on use of Personal Protective Equipment

Training requirements and resources

Record keeping and data requirements

Communicating 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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