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Pharmacy flu vaccine uptake tops previous year's figure with three months to go

Almost 1.5 million flu vaccines have been administered under the community pharmacy flu vaccination service in the 2019/2020 winter season, according to the latest statistics from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

Data up to 5 January 2020 show that 1,495,168 vaccines have been given to patients under the service, which allows community pharmacies in England to offer the vaccine free-of-charge to those considered to be at particular risk of complications from influenza.

This figure already exceeds the 1,431,538 vaccines delivered through the service during the entire 2018/2019 flu season, which ran from 1 September 2018 until 31 March 2019. The 2019/2020 community pharmacy flu vaccination service will end on 21 March 2020.

The majority of vaccines (61.8%) were administered to patients aged 65 years and over. Patients with chronic respiratory disease accounted for 12.3% of the uptake and 8.1% of patients had diabetes. Pregnant women accounted for 1.9% of service users.

Public Health England said that, as of 19 December 2019, flu was continuing to circulate and that GP consultations for flu-like illness remained above baseline level at 19.4 consultations per 100,000 registered patients. This was up from 16.0 consultations per 100,000 registered patients the previous week.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20207533

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