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NHS flu vaccinations available from local community pharmacies

Local community pharmacy teams in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham (LSL) have commenced offering free NHS flu vaccinations following last year’s successful national and London pharmacy flu vaccination schemes.

The Flu Vaccination Service eligibility criteria includes all adults aged 65 years and over; those aged 18 years to less than 65 years with certain serious medical conditions; those aged from 2 years to less than 18 years in certain clinical risk groups; registered and informal carers; healthcare workers; NHS frontline staff and those with mental health or a learning disability; All these cohorts can receive a free of charge NHS flu vaccinations at community pharmacies across LSL, often without the need for an appointment. People in at-risk groups include pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions including asthma and diabetes. Pharmacists will be providing the same flu vaccination as those offered by GPs and patients can be assured that their GP practice will be notified that they have been vaccinated.

NHS Flu Vaccination Services provided by community pharmacists have shown that the convenience of pharmacies ‘walk in service’ benefits the NHS by increasing uptake of the vaccine in eligible groups of people and helps to meet World Health Organisation vaccination targets. Patients have been overwhelmingly positive in their feedback on the pharmacy services in the past.

Community pharmacies are the most accessible healthcare locations; we offer convenient access to medicines and a range of services without the need for an appointment. This will be of particular value in flu vaccinations, where we can really help the NHS to meet its vaccination targets. In 2015/16, more than 60% of all community pharmacies in England provided the national service to almost 600,000 people. This shows that patients value the convenience of being able to choose to have their NHS flu vaccination from their local pharmacy.”

LSL Community pharmacy teams are looking forward to providing the service and we are keen to work with colleagues in general practice to help ensure that as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated this year.”