Pharmacy flu vaccination services complement services GP services and can help vaccinate more at-risk patients, according to a new UK research report.
The report, appearing in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, included the results of a survey of 1741 patients from a total of 55 pharmacies in the UK.
As shown in previous studies, consumers attending the pharmacy services were attracted by their convenience and accessibility – and this held true for patients of all ages, not just those of working age.
Some patients who were eligible for the free service under the NHS chose to attend a pharmacy instead and pay for the vaccination.
Of these people, 36.7% were health professionals or carers.
“Pharmacy flu vaccination services complement those provided by GPs to help improve overall coverage and vaccination rates for patients in at-risk groups,” concluded the authors.
“These services are highly accessed by patients from all socio-demographic areas, and seem to be particularly attractive to carers, frontline healthcare workers, and those of working age.
“The timings of access show that this is likely to be due to the convenience and accessibility of pharmacies.
“There is an opportunity for pharmacists to support vaccination services further by targeting those that are unlikely to attend GP surgeries, as well as those with long-term conditions on repeat medicines who are eligible for a NHS vaccine.”