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Boots to open ‘flu hubs’ this winter to deal with ‘unprecedented’ demand

Pharmacy flu vaccines

By Isabel Shaw

15 Jul 2021

Boots UK will be launching dedicated flu hubs in some of its pharmacies after the Government announced that pharmacies would be expected to deliver more vaccines this year than in 2020/21.  

The specialised ‘hubs’ will be based in over 100 of the multiple’s pharmacies across the UK to free up consultation rooms. 

Boots said it had seen an ‘unprecedented’ demand for this vaccine this year, after having over 100,000 patients sign up for the vaccine already.  

NHS England confirmed earlier this year that people aged 50 to 64 are expected to be eligible for a free vaccination again next season, having been included for the first time in 2020. 

During a speech at the 2021 National Pharmacy Association (NPA) conference earlier this month, health minister Joe Churchill said she wanted pharmacies to administer ‘more [Covid] vaccines and more flu vaccines’. 

‘Last year [pharmacy] did more flu vaccines than ever before and I want to see even more this year,’ she explained. 

Figures from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have shown community pharmacies alone vaccinated 2,617,628 during the 2020/21 programme, over one million more than the sector achieved in the entire flu season last year. 

Community pharmacies also exceeded the 2019 flu vaccine record in just two months of the 2020 service, vaccinating more than 1.7 million patients by November. 

Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots, said: ‘Most adults will have had both Covid-19 vaccinations by September.  

‘My advice to people is to make sure they are protected from flu as well by booking a vaccination as early as possible’. 

This comes as NHS England said that community pharmacies will be expected to deliver 3.5 million Covid vaccines per week over the booster period, alongside flu. 

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