Change in eligibility for Covid/flu vaccines and delayed start date


Following the release of details about the autumn Covid and flu vaccination programmes, we were asked to comment on the change in eligibility and delayed start date of the vaccination roll-out, particularly around the potential for vaccines to go to waste.

Our Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:

“A delay to the start of the flu vaccination service could mean the more than one million people who pharmacies would otherwise vaccinate in September have to wait longer. Pharmacies will do their best to squeeze these people into appointments during some of their busiest months of the year, but it will inevitably cause a lot of frustration for patients and it will reduce pharmacies’ capacity to provide other important healthcare services. Common sense must win out and the NHS should reverse this decision to make a major change without having provided adequate advance warning. If they don’t, pharmacies and their patients will pay the price: time will need to be spent on rebooking appointments and some pharmacies will likely be left with vaccines that they simply cannot use up in the time available. Pharmacies are already under immense pressures and simply cannot afford to pick up the operational and financial pieces from poor NHS decision-making.”


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