It has been a busy few days at work. On Tuesday last we did 22 flu vaccinations, Wednesday 10 were scheduled. For the rest of the week there are a similar amount of bookings every day. With the weather changing last weekend a lot of people seem to be bracing themselves for winter and we have noticed a lot more people coming in to buy cold and flu remedies. This is our third year performing flu vaccinations and I am delighted how the service has developed over that time. This year I was determined to really push the service and over the summer I spent a lot of time planning the service so we could hit the ground running when the vaccines were delivered.
The flu vaccine is a great opportunity for Irish Pharmacy and there are a couple of ways that the data will be collated once the season is over. Every vaccine needs to be registered with the HSE which we can do online. To do this we need a person’s medical card number or their PPS number. This will help the HSE to respond next year by saying ‘In the flu season 2014/2015 ‘X’ number of people were vaccinated. The other way it is collated is using a tool from the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) called ‘IPUNET’.
This system involves us inputting the data for each vaccinated patient into a pharmacy database which monitors reasons such as patient age, gender and if they already have a chronic health issue. The beauty of this system is it will produce statistics such as ‘Y’ number of people received flu vaccinations in Community Pharmacies in the flu season 2014/2015. I think it can also break down the number ‘Y’ into smaller disease groups e.g. ‘Z’ number of people who were vaccinated had chronic heart conditions. This information is very powerful evidence and the IPU can use it to argue the case for Community Pharmacies to provide extended services and hopefully use it as a bargaining tool if funding is required.
I am delighted in what we have achieved already this year and we are only two weeks in so I hope this will continue. I advise everyone to at least consider getting the flu vaccine. You may be entitled to one free of charge. I have gotten it for the last 15 years and since we started our service I understand so much more about how important it is. Tuesday and Wednesday of this week have been two of my most fulfilling days professionally in a long time. I get to do all the things I love about my job – interact with customers, get to know them and help them by vaccinating them.
Now is the time to get vaccinated , before November and December land in top of us. I keep telling everyone that by getting vaccinated now it should spare them the hassle of catching the flu later in the year. More and more pharmacies are offering the service every year so there is plenty of opportunity to get it done. You can even get it done on your lunch break. So C’mon there is no reason to miss out!
Book the flu vaccine here for a discounted price!