Article Text

Seasonal influenza vaccination delivery through community pharmacists in England: evaluation of the London pilot
  1. Katherine Atkins1,
  2. Albert Jan van Hoek1,
  3. Conall Watson1,
  4. Marc Baguelin1,2,
  5. Lethiwe Choga3,
  6. Anika Patel4,
  7. Thara Raj5,
  8. Mark Jit1,2,
  9. Ulla Griffiths6
  1. 1Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Respiratory Disease Department, Public Health England, London, UK
  3. 3NHS England, London, UK
  4. 4Imperial GP Specialty Training, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  5. 5Screening and Immunisations, London Region, Public Health England, London, UK
  6. 6Department of Global Health, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine Atkins; Katherine.Atkins{at}


Objective To evaluate the effectiveness and cost of the pan-London pharmacy initiative, a programme that allows administration of seasonal influenza vaccination to eligible patients at pharmacies.

Design We analysed 2013–2015 data on vaccination uptake in pharmacies via the Sonar reporting system, and the total vaccination uptake via 2011–2015 ImmForm general practitioner (GP) reporting system data. We conducted an online survey of London pharmacists who participate in the programme to assess time use data, vaccine choice, investment costs and opinions about the programme. We conducted an online survey of London GPs to assess vaccine choice of vaccine and opinions about the pharmacy vaccine delivery programme.

Setting All London boroughs.

Participants London-based GPs, and pharmacies that currently offer seasonal flu vaccination.

Interventions Not applicable.

Main outcome measures Comparison of annual vaccine uptake in London across risk groups from years before pharmacy vaccination introduction to after pharmacy vaccination introduction. Completeness of vaccine uptake reporting data. Cost to the National Health Service (NHS) of flu vaccine delivery at pharmacies with that at GPs. Cost to pharmacists of flu delivery. Opinions of pharmacists and GPs regarding the flu vaccine pharmacy initiative.

Results No significant change in the uptake of seasonal vaccination in any of the risk groups as a result of the pharmacy initiative. While on average a pharmacy-administered flu vaccine dose costs the NHS up to £2.35 less than a dose administered at a GP, a comparison of the 2 recording systems suggests there is substantial loss of data.

Conclusions Flu vaccine delivery through pharmacies shows potential for improving convenience for vaccine recipients. However, there is no evidence that vaccination uptake increases and the use of 2 separate recording systems leads to time-consuming data entry and missing vaccine record data.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

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