Many pharmacies are providing vaccination services to protect people from a number of illnesses such as influenza. During the 2019/20 flu season, community pharmacies in England provided over 1.7 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.
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.
Flu vaccination will be really important to prevent our hospitals becoming overwhelmed.
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 2020, 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.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the search is on for an effective vaccine. If and when a safe vaccine that works is discovered, it must be produced quickly and in huge quantities to vaccinate the population. Pharmacists working in the community are well placed to help provide such a vaccine to protect the communities they serve.
Pharmacy cares and protects you.