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Welsh community pharmacy has increased share of flu vaccinations in every year

Welsh community pharmacies have delivered an increasing proportion of Wales’s flu vaccines each year since 2012, according to data published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy (26 June 2019).  

The flu vaccine has been available in Welsh pharmacies since 2012. Before this time, it was only offered through GP surgeries.  

The data, which related to all NHS-funded flu vaccinations, reported that 5,074,871 vaccines were administered in Wales between 2012 and 2018.

In 2012, community pharmacies delivered 0.28% of that year’s vaccines, but this rose to 5.7% by 2018.  

Total vaccination numbers in Wales have risen from 552,966 in 2012 to 635,957 in 2018, with both GP surgeries and pharmacies seeing an absolute increase in the number of people requesting the vaccine. 

Compared to GP surgeries, community pharmacies administered the vaccine to a greater proportion of patients aged under 65 years and at-risk groups, such as pregnant women. People aged over 65 years were more likely to attend a GP surgery.

Data show that 47.5% of pharmacy flu vaccinations were administered to at-risk people under the age of 65 years, whereas only 28.6% of flu vaccinations in GP surgeries were administered to this patient group. 

The number of people aged over 65 years being vaccinated across all settings rose from 63.5% in 2009/2010 to 68.8% in 2017/2018.

However, this general upwards trend was disrupted between 2014 and 2016, with rates dropping back to 66.6% before showing slight increases from 2016 to 2018. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206729

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