65 additional community pharmacy sites will begin vaccinating patients against COVID-19

An additional 65 vaccination sites run by community pharmacies will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines over the coming week.

The sites, 55 of which are run by independent pharmacies, include Manchester Whalley Range Tennis and Cricket Club, run by Wilbraham Pharmacy, and pop-up sites Odeon and Village Hotel operated by Pharmacy2U.

They will join the first six community pharmacy vaccination sites, which opened on January 14, 2021.

NHS England said additional sites run by Retrolink Pharmacy and Jardines Pharmacy in Bedfordshire will extend vaccine availability to areas previously not covered by a vaccination site.

Meanwhile, recently opened sites at a mosque in Birmingham and the Lincoln Pharmacy in Tower Hamlets, east London, “will play a major role in vaccinating groups who are at higher risk of coronavirus mortality”, he said in a statement.

Olivier Picard, owner of Newdays Pharmacy, which is opening a vaccination site in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘As soon as bookings were activated through the national booking system we quickly became fully subscribed so there is no doubt that people trust pharmacists to protect them.

“It’s a daunting but perfectly achievable prospect, and we’re proud to be part of this vital program.”

Raj Patel, owner of Hollowood Chemists in the North West of England, which is also opening vaccination sites this week, said he had “set up our three vaccination sites in a matter of weeks”.

“Everyone stepped up, and it showed the power of coming together for the common good, and the responsiveness of community pharmacists,” he said.

Picard and Patel are both board members of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

Andrew Lane, chairman of the NPA, said the new sites represent “a significant expansion of COVID-19 vaccination sites, but pharmacies can ultimately go much further to protect people.”

“I think pharmacists are going to be sprinters and marathon runners in the race to vaccinate the entire adult population by the fall and then protect people in the future,” he said.

Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said she was “delighted to see more pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination sites coming to life today and that many of our members are a part of them.”

“However, of the more than 11,000 pharmacies across England who are not currently administering vaccines, many more of our members and pharmacies across the UK are also determined and willing to play their part in this national effort” , she said.

“The government has made it clear ‘watch this space, we will be using the pharmacy network’. We are committed to working with the government and colleagues at NHS England to make this a reality soon.”

The Pharmacy Services Bargaining Committee said in a Jan. 10, 2021 statement that pharmacy trade bodies were working with the government “on plans to ensure community pharmacies are used to the maximum as part of the vaccine program against COVID-19”.

Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the Company Chemists’ Association, said the new sites are “welcome”, but added that they “are the tip of the iceberg in terms of mobilizing the network of community pharmacies in England to protect their local communities. against COVID-19”.

“We have shared a model with the NHS which will allow them to use pharmacies across the country to vaccinate the population and reach the target of 13.9 million vaccinations by mid-February,” he said. he said, adding he was confident the industry could deliver more than 15 million shots of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine “by the end of June”.

“We very much hope that this model will be ready for deployment as new supplies of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine become available. However, time is not on our side, so we need to make decisions quickly on how this might work.

Claire Anderson, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “It is fantastic and inspiring to see the rapid progress being made in the clinical skills of pharmacists.

Community pharmacies are often at the heart of deprived areas, where levels of health problems and vaccine hesitancy are higher,” she added.

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