Flu is a common viral infection that affects many people each year, even more so during the winter months. In an effort to try and combat this problem, new arrangements will now allow pharmacies around the UK to offer the flu jab in store. Any pharmacy with a private consultation room and fully-trained staff can provide the vaccine to eligible patients.
Will you be offering the flu vaccination to your patients this winter? Here are four key reasons why every pharmacy should consider doing so.
Stop the Virus from Spreading
Influenza is a highly contagious virus that is easily passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing and touching infected surfaces. As the virus spreads, more people suffer from the unpleasant symptoms.
Hygiene measures such as washing hands and using tissues can help to stop the virus from spreading and should be widely promoted within your pharmacy. However, the flu vaccine is undoubtedly the best protection against flu available. By providing a flu vaccination service in your pharmacy, you can do your part to reduce the spread of the virus.
Protect Vulnerable Patients
Typical symptoms of the flu include a high temperature, headache, tiredness and a cough, which usually begin to clear within a week. However, certain vulnerable people are at risk of flu symptoms leading to dangerous complications such as chest infections, pneumonia and hyperglycaemia. These include people over the age of 65, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
To protect these patients, it’s important that they get the flu vaccine as early as possible. Flu vaccinations administered in pharmacies mean that patients can be treated sooner, without waiting for a GP appointment.
A Convenient Service for Customers
Many patients have busy lives and struggle to find the time to get their flu jab. Either their GP surgery is too far away, or they are unable to attend appointments because of their working hours.
Increase your customer satisfaction while helping to boost uptake of the flu vaccination by offering a convenient in-store service to your customers. High street locations and appointments available at night and on a weekend will make it easier for patients to pop in and get protected against the flu virus.
Take the Strain off Surgeries
As seasonal illnesses such as colds and throat infections increase in winter, GP surgeries become saturated with sick people. Doctors struggle to deal with the growing demand and patients become frustrated.
Pharmacies can help to relieve this strain by offering customers an alternative solution for their flu jabs. With fewer vaccines to administer, surgery hours will be freed up, allowing GPs to focus on treating more serious illnesses and injuries.
A national flu vaccination service in pharmacies is a big step forward for the UK’s health service and will greatly benefit patients as well as the NHS. Act now to get your flu vaccination service up and running in time for winter.
This article was written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam with helpful information from Pharma Protect. Kelly can be found on Twitter @KellyGGrassam.