A joint study by The University of Nottingham and Boots suggests half of ‘at-risk’ patients are not receiving vaccinations.
The study also shows that many people are choosing to pay privately for jabs, despite having the opportunity of a free vaccination with the NHS.
The University of Nottingham and Boots say that pharmacies play an influential role in getting more people vaccinated against flu.
At-risk patients include those with diabetes, chronic heart disease and chronic respiratory disease. Frontline health and care workers, pregnant women and people over the age of 65 are also included within the ‘At-risk’ category.
Last year, the NHS and the World Health Organisation aimed to have 75% of patients vaccinated against flu, but in the winter of 2012 to 2013 the figure was only 50%. The NHS plans to get 70% of the population vaccinated in 2012/2013 and 75% protected in 2013/2014.
Peter Bainbridge, Director of Pharmacy at Boots UK, believes the accessibility of pharmacies, in contrast to the NHS, better suit the schedules of the working public:
“Patients tell us that a pharmacy is a convenient and accessible option for getting their flu vaccination. We are near to where they work and have opening hours that suit their busy lives.” – Peter Bainbridge, Boots
Out of 89,011 privately-paying patients, 5,340 patients were eligible to have a free vaccination with the NHS, but chose to pay at pharmacies instead.
Claire Anderson, Professor of Social Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham, believes more needs to be done to ensure vaccinations are undertaken.