You probably carry out dozens of flu jabs every winter at your pharmacy.

According to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, last year community pharmacists vaccinated almost 1.3m NHS patients and over 1 million private customers.

But have you ever thought about extending your private vaccination services for commercial benefit?

Many businesses already are ­with Lloydspharmacy being the latest high street name to extend its travel health vaccination services, following a successful pilot back in 2018. Currently offered in 77 pharmacies, they will be opening more than 100 travel vaccination clinics over the next year.

According to Graham Thoms, Chief Executive at online consultation service PharmaDoctor, there is a huge market for pharmacists to tap into.

He gave The Pharmacist his top tips on how to make the most of this new opportunity.


1. Offer all vaccinations – not just flu

Pharmacists who are trained in vaccinations should ‘maximise on those skills’, says Mr Thoms by focusing not just on flu but also travel vaccinations. “Travel health is such a big revenue generator. The average spend is £125 for a 25-minute consultation. You’ve got to dispense a lot of prescriptions to generate that kind of revenue,” he says. To get the most up to date travel health information for which vaccinations are needed for which country, visit the NHS website here.


2. Offer a convenient service

Even for jabs that GPs may offer, such as hepatitis, many people prefer a pharmacy as they can pick a convenient time and location that suits them.


3. Recommend related products

Giving a yellow fever vaccination? Recommend your patient insect repellent, too. If it’s a jab for a waterborne disease, such as typhoid, suggest a water bottle with a built-in filter.


4. Price your services wisely

If you buy a vaccine at £50, the patient should be paying £90-100 – so 40-50% of the price goes to you for your service. According to Mr Thoms, customers are unlikely to go elsewhere just to save a few pounds if the service is available conveniently at their community pharmacy.


5. ‘Word of mouth’ works wonders

Pharmacies should build good relationships with local GP surgeries, who can then signpost travellers to them. They should also talk to local schools or universities embarking on foreign trips, as they could provide another potentially lucrative revenue stream.


6. Market your services

Make sure you have a website containing details of your vaccination services and then market it thoroughly, especially through social media sites like Facebook.