IPU

Pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service

Flu is a highly infectious illness and it is estimated that flu is responsible for between 200 and 500 deaths each year in Ireland, mostly elderly patients. Each year, approximately 10% of Europe’s population is infected with seasonal influenza (flu) and flu-related complications, which result in hundreds of thousands of hospitalisations across Europe. Older people, younger children and those with chronic conditions suffer the most but everyone is at risk of developing serious complications, including pneumonia, which may result in death.

If you have questions about the Flu Vaccination, please contact your local pharmacist who will be happy to answer all your queries. Find your local pharmacy.

 

Flu Vaccination in Irish Community Pharmacies

In Ireland, community pharmacists have been providing a flu vaccination service since 2011. Research carried out in March 2016 showed a high level of satisfaction with the service.

  • 99% of respondents rated their overall satisfaction with the pharmacy-delivered service as 8, 9 or 10 out of 10.
  • 95% said they were very satisfied with the amount of information received at the time of vaccination.
  • 99% said that they would be likely to go to the pharmacist for their flu vaccination again.

1 in 6 respondents who had been vaccinated in a pharmacy were first time patients for receiving the flu vaccine and a third of respondents had not received the vaccine from a pharmacy before.

Reasons for attending a pharmacy for the flu vaccination:

  • Convenience of access;
  • Efficiency (longer opening hours, no need for appointments etc.);
  • Trust in pharmacist; and
  • Cost.

The number of people receiving the flu vaccination in pharmacies continues to grow year-on-year. Pharmacist participation in vaccination services has significantly improved access to this vital healthcare intervention and accounts for around 10% of total flu vaccinations in Ireland.

No of Flu Vaccinations in Community Pharmacies 2011 – 2017

2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
9,125 18,358 40,991 51,227 62,514 78,935

 

Accessibility

The HSE estimates that, between older people and at-risk people, over one million people should be vaccinated in Ireland. As the population ages and chronic disease rates keep increasing, this group will continue to grow. Therefore, there is great potential for the pharmacy vaccination service to grow and as the most accessible part of the healthcare system, pharmacies are the ideal place for people to receive their flu vaccination.

 

At-risk patients

  • Aged 65+
  • Persons with Down syndrome
  • Those with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes or heart or lung disease
  • People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment
  • Cancer patients
  • Persons with a body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
  • Healthcare workers
  • Carers
  • People with regular close contact with poultry, waterfowl or pigs

* Research carried out by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), the pharmacy regulator.

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