Flu jab cost to NHS

Just wondering about this, not moneysaving to us but maybe to the NHS
Which is more cost effective for the NHS, getting your flu jab at the doctors by a nurse or getting it done at the chemist?
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  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,809
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    I don't know, but I know my surgery is very keen that those entitled to a free jab should get done by the surgery, not the pharmacy attached to the practice, and I think it's because there's a financial incentive.
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  • Carrot007
    Carrot007 Posts: 4,534
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    If you use your doctors the money is staying in the NHS.


    If you use a pharmacy it is not.


    Either way the cost is the same.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,809
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    Carrot007 wrote: »
    If you use your doctors the money is staying in the NHS.


    If you use a pharmacy it is not.


    Either way the cost is the same.
    Yes, but ...

    If I get the flu jab from my surgery, the NHS must be paying for the dose, plus the time of those giving the injections, plus (for my surgery) the cost of hiring the church hall for a couple of Saturday mornings.

    If I get the flu jab from my local pharmacy, surely the pharmacy is paying for the doses, and is that within the NHS or not?

    Also - and I could have misunderstood this - when I spoke to my surgery, they suggested there were two different vaccines this year: one for those entitled to the 'free' jabs, and one for the rest of us. Their flu clinics are fully booked, so I was told to ring after they'd finished, to see how many doses they'd got left. I was confused ...

    And since work are willing to pay for me to have a flu jab I shall go elsewhere ...
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  • Carrot007
    Carrot007 Posts: 4,534
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    If I get the flu jab from my surgery, the NHS must be paying for the dose, plus the time of those giving the injections, plus (for my surgery) the cost of hiring the church hall for a couple of Saturday mornings.


    ? The dose is paid for either way. The surgery are not goiing to give out paid for ones though. They also both get a fee for it. Would you rather the fee go to the NHS or someone else?


    If the surgery were not making a profit they would not hire the church hall. They are not forced to. Mine just open the surgery on a sat for 2 min appointments, so maybe yours make less. Who knows. I know they like me to get myy prescriptions from them as well (Being in the next village I am allowed, if I was in the same village I would not be allowed, I guess boots made that a requrement of keeping a phharmacy open. But thay cannot dictate on flu jabs.



    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    If I get the flu jab from my local pharmacy, surely the pharmacy is paying for the doses, and is that within the NHS or not?


    As above, it's m,ore about the money they get for providing the service going back to the NHS or not. Not the initial outlay. Which is also probably subsidised either way. If it was not would your surgery even provide them?



    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    Also - and I could have misunderstood this - when I spoke to my surgery, they suggested there were two different vaccines this year: one for those entitled to the 'free' jabs, and one for the rest of us. Their flu clinics are fully booked, so I was told to ring after they'd finished, to see how many doses they'd got left. I was confused ...


    There are two different vacs every year. Usually one for young people and one for over 70s (which may have protection against extra strains). Not heard of the free one being different though. Maybe justy confusion becuase most of the free ones go to the "old". Not me though only 44 (but elligable). And yes there are shortages this year and even out usually good docss has said go to a pharmacy if it is easier for you. It's not a crime, it's just better to support the NHS more if possible right?



    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    And since work are willing to pay for me to have a flu jab I shall go elsewhere ...


    Fair enough. You know what is more convienient for you. But don't be under the impression that you are not taking money (albeit not a lot) out of the NHS system.


    If you get it free you can get it anywhere free. But wheather the fee goes back into the NHS of not is the important bit surely. Much like getting your prescriptions within the NHS rather than out of it. But all things are not possible for all peopla. It can be a lot to do with what your doctors offer and where you are. Such is life.
  • eamon
    eamon Posts: 2,319
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    Getting the flu jab for free at your GP is one the easiest wins that the NHS does, everybody gains. Flu for many people is life threatening. I contracted flu in 2006, bedridden for over a week, off work for a fortnight and a chest infection as a leaving present. So ever since I've opted for the jab as I don't wont to go through that again.
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103
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    edited 25 October 2019 at 8:53PM
    Archergirl wrote: »
    Just wondering about this, not moneysaving to us but maybe to the NHS ... Which is more cost effective for the NHS, getting your flu jab at the doctors by a nurse or getting it done at the chemist?
    In pure NHS cost just for the shot service, probably the chemist. In overall service delivery probably the GP. Vaccine only costs are on page 3 of the vaccine program update.

    For an adult under 65 whichever place offers the cell-based quadrivalent vaccine instead of the quadrivalent egg-based is likely to be the best choice. Quadrivalent means it protects against four types of flu virus. The new this year choice is grown in mammal cells (QIVc) instead of eggs and because of this difference it adds about 20 percentage points to the effectiveness against flu type A(H3N2). Egg-based (QICe) is less effective for this particular type because it's changed to do better in eggs than against the type in humans, a process called egg adaptation. The various A(H3..) types are currently the most common ones being found in the UK by the national flu monitoring program but this may well change to an A(H1...) type when the main flu season comes along. Cell-based will be used for everyone in this group with an egg allergy. As an individual patient you might as well go for the most effective vaccine. Egg QIVe costs £8.00 or £9.94 depending on brand, cell QIVc £9.94.

    For 65 and over the egg types QIVe for under-65s aren't offered because they aren't effective enough. It's age that makes the under 65 types unsuitable (but better than nothing) because we respond less to vaccines as we get older. The risk is higher in this group overall so getting any of the types is what matters. You're quite likely to be given a trivalent (three types of flu) vaccine that's had adjustments made to get better protection for older people (adjuvanted trivalent, aTIV) but might get a quadrivalent cell-grown one instead. It's currently unclear which is best. As of 17 October around 40% of GP patients in this group had already been vaccinated. Adjuvanted trivalent costs £9.79, QIVc £9.94.

    GPs can get extra payments for advanced services mainly related to getting more people immunised, including letters and texts.

    A GP might divert you from a nurse to a doctor if that seems useful due to some other health factor.

    You can read the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's Advice on influenza vaccines for 2019/20 or learn more from their minutes.

    For more on flu vaccination in the UK see chapter 19 of the green book.

    Lots of coverage of specific groups but free NHS immunisation is also available to those in regular contact with them can also get it free at their GPs discretion, including:
    • those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. Vaccination should be given on an individual basis at the GP’s discretion in the context of other clinical risk groups in their practice
    • others involved directly in delivering health and social care such that they and vulnerable patients/clients are at increased risk of exposure to influenza
    • health and social care staff directly involved in the care of their patients or clients
    • those living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality (this does not include prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence etc.)
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103
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    Carrot007 wrote: »
    But wheather the fee goes back into the NHS of not is the important bit surely.
    The important bit for the NHS is just getting vaccinated. Anywhere. The major NHS gain is from avoiding hospitalisation and GP visits, not keeping vaccination money within NHS institutions vs privately operated businesses like GP surgeries or pharmacies.

    People might want to favour their GP business over a pharmacy business but sometimes a local pharmacy might have a greater need for the extra revenue. And picking the most effective vaccine could matter more for under-65s in risk groups.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,809
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    Fascinating James! How easy is it to find out which vaccine is offered at eg Superdrug vs Boots? I just ask?
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  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103
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    Ask. My local Boots told me that their national policy for under-65s is QIVe unless someone has an egg allergy, when they will use QIVc.
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,389
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    Very interesting posts, James.
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