NHS England seasonal flu service specification


For most healthy people, influenza (flu) is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease. However, older people, pregnant women and those with underlying diseases are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch it.

Flu is a key factor in NHS resilience. It impacts on those who become ill, the NHS services that provide direct care as a result, and on the wider health and social care system. The annual immunisation programme helps to reduce unplanned hospital admissions and pressure on A&E. In order to improve access to NHS flu vaccination for eligible patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement has commissioned an advanced service for community pharmacies to provide flu vaccinations since 2015. The service will run from 1 September to 31 March each year. 

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