During the 2020/21 flu season, community pharmacies in England provided over 2.7 million flu jabs to eligible patients as part of the NHS flu vaccination service, with many more given privately to members of the public wanting to protect themselves. This service is safe, convenient and easy to access and relieves pressure on GP practices.
Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19. However, the yearly deaths vary widely from a high of 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19. Vaccinating as many individuals as possible can make a real difference to this and importantly keep people out of hospitals, when they may also be treating patients with COVID-19.
It is predicted that there may be a major flu outbreak this winter so being protected is really important for all of us. Your vaccination will also prevent our hospitals becoming overwhelmed when they are already busy catching up from the pandemic and dealing with patients very ill from COVID-19 and other infections.
Pharmacists are well placed to deliver a vaccination service as highly trained healthcare professionals and experts in medicines and health. They spend 4 years at university, a year qualifying and then undertake a career of continuous professional development. From September, pharmacists will be doing all they can to vaccinate as many ‘at-risk’ patients against influenza. Pharmacists and their teams are already planning how they will do this to ensure individuals get the protection they need.
Pharmacy cares and protects you.