Perspectives on the flu vaccination in pharmacy

In winter 2015/16 community pharmacy delivered the first nationally commissioned flu vaccination service.

Learn more about the service from a pharmacist in this video.

Well Pharmacy gathered some feedback from their on-the-ground teams which it shared with Pharmacy Voice.

  • The Gillingham branch lost a lot of flu jab opportunities in 2014/15 as people were reluctant to pay for their vaccination in this deprived area. This year with the NHS Advance Flu vaccination service their programme has been a huge success, more than doubling the number of vaccines given. When relevant the branch has used the opportunity to offer Medicines Use Reviews (MUR) at the same time after their flu vaccination if the customer has not had one in the last two years. Gillingham
  • A regular customer came in to enquiry about the flu jab as she had a flu voucher that have been attached to her medication bag a few weeks ago. She was so happy to have it done that day. She explained that whilst giving her the flu jab that last year she had to queue for half an hour standing with no chair at the GP (she is 92 years old) and only holding to the rail to steady herself. She was very glad to have such a convenient and quick service. Tamworth 
  • One Friday a lady came in that the pharmacist recognised as a carer for her disabled daughter. They spoke about the flu vaccination and the reasons why she should have it. She had no idea that she was eligible and had never been identified or asked before by her GP surgery. She had her first ever flu vaccination and the pharmacy team also used the opportunity to discuss a local campaign on carers and give her support materials and advice. Grangetown
  • A regular patient had declined having an MUR on a number of occasions despite being eligible. The manager decided to speak to her directly and encouraged her to chat to the pharmacist. She then agreed to have an MUR which led to a GP referral as she was non-compliant with her medication due to side effects. The same day we offered a flu jab which she was delighted to have doneso conveniently. Roath
  • One Wednesday a lady asked for a Flu Jab for her husband who was eligible for the NHS scheme. He was a long distance lorry driver so could only attend on a Saturday. We reassured her that we are open on Saturdays he had the vaccination that weekend. Lees 
  • Before the end of December we had done over 100 flu jabs despite a very small script volume (less than 1000 items/week). Our patients loved the convenience. My best moment was when a customer came back to say thank you, and what a wonderful job I’d done. She didn’t feel a thing at the time and has had no after effects. Eltham
  • One of our patients came in to collect his father’s prescription. Our pharmacist asked him to let his dad know that he could come in to the pharmacy for his flu jab. He said that his dad usually refused to get a flu jab and did not think the service was worth it. He was eligible for a flu jab himself and we did it for him then. He said he was impressed with the service and he managed to convince his dad to come in which he did a few days later receiving his first ever flu jab! Newark 
  • During an MUR with a patient who we did not think was eligible for an NHS flu jab the pharmacist found out that the patient had cancer. The pharmacist discussed the risks of catching flu with the patient and explained the benefits of having a vaccination. The patient hadn’t been aware that she was at risk and was grateful to our pharmacist for offering the service and protecting her from flu. Newark pharmacy