Pharmacists contracted to deliver the flu vaccine during the 2022/23 season will receive no increase on last year’s fee.

The fee for the annual service, which is due to begin on 1 September, will remain at £9.58 plus the cost of the vaccine. An increase to £10.08 in 2020/21 was reduced to the current rate last year.

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), said the committee is ‘disappointed’ NHS England has not increased funding for the service given contractors are facing higher costs.

He added: ‘PSNC will continue to make the case to the NHS for increased funding for the service in future years.’

Contractors must claim payment with the NHS Business Services Authority within three months of administering the vaccine or by 30 June 2023, whichever is earlier.

The fee structure was announced by NHS England in its newly published guidelines for the administration of the flu vaccine for 2022/23.  

The document also highlighted that, following discussions with the PSNC, pharmacists and other authorised vaccinators will only be required to undertake periodic in-person training to provide the service.

This change brings the pharmacy sector in line with the vaccination training required for doctors and nurses.

Previously, pharmacists needed to undertake refresher face-to-face training for injection technique and basic life support every three years.

The National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners recommended that immunisers should keep a record of all training undertaken and level of competence achieved to readily show to current and future employers.

Such evidence should include competency checklists, knowledge test score sheets, reflective logs, completion of e-learning course certificates and certificates of attendance at immunisation training courses and updates.

Community pharmacy teams administered a 75% increase in flu vaccinations during 2021/1, up 2.08m year-on-year to 4.85m, according to the Advanced Service Flu report published by NHS Business Service Authority.

This comes after The Pharmacist asked Clinical Ambassador pharmacies in Leicester, Pentre and Stevenage about their plans for Covid boosters and flu vaccinations this autumn, given the predicted surge in flu this year.