Archive 2013


September 11, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: With ‘flu season just around the corner, a new report on the pharmacy vaccination service by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), the pharmacy regulator, has found that the service is operating effectively with no quality or safety concerns identified.

Influenza vaccine deliveries to pharmacies around Ireland are to begin next Monday, with widespread availability to patients in pharmacies across the country planned from Friday, September 27.   The influenza vaccine is extremely important to some categories of the public during the winter months.

In preparation for the ‘flu season, the PSI’s Council published its “Report on the Evaluation of the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service in Pharmacy 2012-2013”, which assessed the service in pharmacies over this period. The PSI report, which included engagement with patients, pharmacists and other key stakeholders, found that the number of patients accessing vaccinations through pharmacies increased significantly in 2012/2013 when compared to the previous season, with patients expressing satisfaction with the service provided.

PSI Acting Registrar, Ciara McGoldrick, said that it was extremely encouraging that the increased accessibility of vaccination provided through pharmacies had the potential to increase the uptake of the seasonal influenza vaccine. “With the influenza vaccine to be available in pharmacies across Ireland over the coming weeks, the public once again this year has easy access to an important defence against the flu.  The strong satisfaction expressed by patients in this report regarding the pharmacy influenza vaccination service is a clear indication of the growing contribution pharmacists are making to public health and positive patient outcomes.  There is a clear desire on the part of pharmacists to develop and expand on the influenza vaccination service to offer other clinical services in pharmacies - and a key insight from this report is that patients interviewed also strongly support these new pharmacy initiatives.  Through Pharmacy Ireland 2020, the PSI will continue to examine how services can be expanded in pharmacies, to further enable and support pharmacists to contribute to public health.”

The PSI report also found that there was a significant uptake of influenza vaccination by pharmacy staff, leading to potential public health benefits.  Healthcare workers are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the ‘flu and also to reduce the risk of transmitting ‘flu to their patients. Legislation was introduced in October 2011 which enabled pharmacists to participate in the annual seasonal influenza vaccination campaign for the first time.

The new PSI Council report in full is available to view on the PSI website.

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