Technicians give children flu vaccine in new trial

Thousands of schoolchildren on the Isle of Wight have had flu vaccines administered by pharmacy technicians in a first-of-its-kind trial.

The six-week initiative saw Boots pharmacy technicians visiting schools on the island to administer 4,250 nasal flu vaccinations to children aged four to 11. It was led by pharmacy technicians Sharon Bunch and Hannah Hine and supported by independent prescriber Krupa Patel, who prescribed the vaccinations using a Patient Specific Direction.

The pharmacy technicians received specialist training on administering the vaccines and ‘soft’ skills such as handling children’s varied attitudes to being vaccinated.

Hannah Hine commented: “It was a privilege to be involved in such a new initiative and I’m really pleased it proved to be a success. We tried to make it a happy experience for the children and make it fun to remove any fears they might have about having a vaccination.”

Boots UK chief pharmacist Marc Donovan said: “I’d like to get to a future where pharmacy technicians can consistently offer a deeper level of care to our patients and this was a great opportunity to demonstrate the power of the whole pharmacy team.”

Liz Fidler, president of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), said: “This is a real example of utilising the knowledge and skills of the pharmacy technician workforce to optimise patient care and experience. I am delighted that further work will be undertaken to embed the contribution pharmacy technicians can make using Patient Specific Directions.”

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