Community pharmacies have administered over 600,000 flu vaccinations in just under five weeks.
Pharmacists in England had given 613,197 flu jabs as of 5 October, according to data published by PharmaOutcomes, Sonar Informatics and Healthi.
This figure does not represent the final number of vaccinations delivered, since not all pharmacy contractors are using the electronic systems to keep track of the vaccines.
Alastair Buxton, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) director of NHS services said: ‘Half a million flu vaccinations is a significant milestone; and to get there in just a few weeks is an absolutely brilliant achievement by community pharmacy teams, especially at a time when we know they have never been busier or under more pressure.
‘Once again community pharmacy teams are showing just how dedicated they are to offering the best service possible to patients; and just what pharmacy can do if given the right opportunities.’
Hitting the 500,000 mark came soon after community pharmacies successfully administered more than 275,000 flu vaccinations, in less than three weeks, following the beginning of the national flu vaccination scheme on 1 September.
Majority of pharmacies offering service
As of 22 September, around 77% of all community pharmacies in England signed up on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBA) to deliver the flu service.
With the flu immunisation service running until 31 March, the figures are expected to go up higher as we move into winter.
To maximise the impact of the flu vaccine, eligible patients should get their free flu jabs before 31 January, when the flu season reaches its highest prevalence.
‘Well done to all pharmacy contractors, pharmacy teams, LPCs and others for helping community pharmacy to build on the success of last year’s service and reach this milestone so quickly,’ added Mr Buxton.