Community pharmacy team members are not included in the groups of healthcare staff for whom the Covid and flu vaccine could be mandatory, the Department of Health and Social care (DHSC) has confirmed today (10 September).

This comes after the Government launched a consultation yesterday (9 September) on making it compulsory for all frontline health and social care staff in England to have a flu and Covid vaccine in a bid to keep patients safer.

The mandatory vaccine requirement would only apply to health and social care workers who have ‘face-to face contact with patients... though the delivery of services as part of a CQC-regulated activity,’ a DHSC spokesperson said.  

'Any CQC-regulated pharmacy, such as hospital pharmacies, would be in scope but not community pharmacists generally', they added.

From 11 November, all health and care staff — including pharmacists — who work in care homes will be required to be vaccinated against Covid, unless medically exempt. 

The Government is consulting on proposals that would extend that requirement. If implemented, it would mean only health workers who are fully vaccinated against Covid and flu would be able to provide services within the scope of the guidance, in order to protect patients.  

Views from NHS staff, healthcare providers, stakeholders, patients and their families will be sought over the next six weeks, with a final decision expected this winter, the Government said.  

The consultation will consider three specific risks which can occur in clinical settings and how they can be decreased or avoided through vaccination. 

It will be open until 22 October.