Directions for the Flu Vaccination Service 2021/22 issued

The Department of Health and Social Care have just confirmed that amendments to the Secretary of State Directions have been signed. This means community pharmacy contractors that fully meet the requirements for provision of the Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service now have the green light to provide the service from today (1st September 2021).

A link to the Secretary of State Directions, which provide the legal basis for provision of the service, is available from the NHS Business Services Authority website.

A National Protocol has also been confirmed to support the flu vaccination programme for 2021/22. A national protocol has already been used by many pharmacies participating in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Its publication enables contractors who are seeking to make use of the skill mix flexibilities allowed under the protocol to consider provision of flu vaccinations via this legal framework as an alternative to the PGD.

Contractors should read the service specification and Patient Group Direction / national protocol (as appropriate) before providing the service.

Additional detailed advice on what contractors need to have in place before providing the service is also available to contractors in the PSNC Briefing 023/21: Guidance on the 2021/22 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service.

Commenting on the confirmation of the Directions, PSNC Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:

“The completion of the regulatory changes means community pharmacy teams can begin offering the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service to eligible patients once they receive their first stock of vaccine.

“This year patients are at risk from flu and COVID-19, so it is important that they are able to access relevant vaccinations as early as possible; contractors will want to ensure they offer flu vaccination to patients as soon as supplies become available.

“I know pharmacy teams will, once again, show what they are capable of and really get behind the flu service to ensure eligible patients are vaccinated.”


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