Pharmacies are warning people are at risk of not getting the flu jab unless an urgent decision is made over the winter vaccination programme.
The Company Chemists’ Association, which represents large pharmacy groups, told HSJ the government and NHS England need to “urgently” clarify how many people it wants vaccinated for flu this year, as well as making changes to regulations.
An expanded and successful winter vaccine programme is seen as key to avoiding potentially catastrophic demand for hospital beds, with flu demand coinciding with covid-19 surges.
Malcolm Harrison, chief executive, said: “We need decisions made now. We have an ongoing dialogue with NHS England but they seem to be waiting on secretary of state’s decision on which groups need vaccinating. That is something [the health secretary, Matt Hancock] needs to make a decision about very, very soon.”
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Source: HSJ, 10 July 2020