For the second year in a row, NHS England is commissioning community pharmacists in the country to offer a seasonal flu vaccination for patients.
This option will be afforded to those who are considered to be in risk groups according to an announcement from NHS England NHS on Monday (9th May), reports Pharma Times.
Choosing to do this for another year came as a result of a successful season between 2015 to 2016, which was the first year of the scheme.
It was delivered as part of the national immunisation programme and it will be offered as an advanced service as part of the national community pharmacy contract.
Despite the decision of the NHS to continue this for another flu season, it has met a lot of resistance from GPs in Britain.
In general they feel that the pharmacy vaccination scheme is fragmenting the service, meaning that they aren't convinced that everyone who needs one of these injections is in fact getting them.
The consensus from GPs seems to be that a lot of people aren't receiving their vaccinations, leaving a lot of patients at risk.
However, community pharmacists have said that they vaccinated 240,259 people in the 2015 to 2016 season out of a total ten million that were given throughout the national programme.
This is according to NHS England, which had carefully monitored the roll out of the scheme across pharmacies.
Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for NHS England, said: "We are pleased to confirm that we will continue to offer this more convenient option to the public during the year ahead."
Although this scheme has been met with disapproval from GPs, it has received praise from many others.
This includes Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services for the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, he commented: "This early announcement of recommissioning will help pharmacy contractors prepare for provision of this important service and is to be welcomed."