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Pharmacists to Receive Extra Funding for Flu Vaccines

This month the NHS England announced that there will be additional funding for Pharmacies to support the most effective flu vaccines. Due to the flu crisis currently working its way around England, this new announcement will mean that pharmacists will be able to order increased stock of the most effective flu vaccines suitable for different patients next winter in order to better meet the needs of patients. This comes as the news breaks that we are in the midst of one of the worst flu seasons since 2011, and is a bid to ensure that next year’s flu season doesn’t reoccur as badly.

Thanks to this announcement, Pharmacists will be able to order more of the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine (aTIV) and quadrivalent influenza vaccine, which will significantly increase the amount of stock for these two variants in comparison with the 2017/2018 season.

With the good news of extra funding and the ability to order such quantities of additional stock, pharmacists need to consider the implications that this will have on their storage facilities. Arguably, the most important element of this is the refrigerator, where the flu vaccines will need to be kept as soon as they are received right up until they are administered.

Investing in additional specialist, approved medical storage and refrigeration units will reduce any unnecessary valuable product losses when used and monitored effectively. Safe storage is invaluable when it comes to the customer’s health, as spoiled vaccines due to temperature fluctuations beyond 2-8oC, can leave them ineffective. There is no doubt that this has to be prevented at every opportunity, starting with the cold chain process. Not only will pharmacies get repeat business for excellent quality service during this increase in flu update, but they will save themselves unnecessary valuable wastage in both products and financial cost to the pharmacy.