Government u-turn on Covid-19 and flu vaccines means ‘time is now incredibly tight’ for pharmacy teams

Daily Mail 

In response to the BA.2.86 variant and UKHSA guidance, DHSC have brought the start of the Autumn Covid-19 and flu vaccinations programme forward to 11th September 2023, to expedite vaccinations for eligible individuals.

The Daily Mail explored how this change in plans will impact pharmacy teams and their delivery of Covid-19 and flu vaccines.

Our Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:

“We understand and support the clinical need for this accelerated booster campaign and the acceleration payments for early vaccinations will make it more financially viable for some pharmacy owners to take part. But despite the good news on funding – in line with our repeated warnings to NHS England that the fees being offered were too low – for community pharmacies and other providers this has been a shambolic start to the winter vaccination programme. It simply isn’t efficient for pharmacies or other providers to work to a seemingly endlessly changing timetable.

“The acceleration payments being offered in September and October may mean that more pharmacies are able to provide COVID vaccinations, and to facilitate this the NHS will extend the deadline for expressions of interest to provide the service, but time is now incredibly tight for pharmacy teams to prepare for the start of the season.

“Community pharmacies stood ready to support the emergency COVID vaccination programmes during the pandemic and many pharmacies still wish to do so, so long as it makes economic sense, and so long as they can plan properly for it. Pharmacies will once again show their adaptability and do their utmost to help with this newly accelerated campaign, but the policy to-ing and fro-ing that we have seen this year must not be repeated.”


Now experts call for more people to get a Covid booster as health bosses pull forward vaccination programme for vulnerable amid fears surrounding Pirola variant – but MPs call for calm and to ‘treat it just like a seasonal flu’ | Daily Mail Online

Read our full news story: Autumn (C-19 & flu) vaccination programme brought forward 

Autumn (C-19 & flu) vaccination programme brought forward