Let all community pharmacies in England offer COVID-19 vaccinations

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NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) should allow more community pharmacies to vaccinate patients against COVID-19 by cutting needless red tape.

Only a limited number of pharmacies will be able to start providing vaccines from next week because the overwhelming majority cannot meet the requirement of being able to provide 1,000 vaccinations per week.

For pharmacies to achieve this figure, they would have to offer approximately 140 vaccinations per day, seven days per week, on top of their other essential healthcare duties.

Now that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved, which only requires storage in a normal refrigerator, it surely makes sense to make full use of the army of pharmacy professionals in England to help the government reach its target of delivering two million vaccines a week.

The sector has already proven how it can deliver millions of vaccines each year with its annual work administering flu jabs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons today (January 6) that pharmacies can play a “vital role” in the vaccine programme. This needs to be made a reality soon as possible.

The longer it takes for more pharmacies to offer the vaccine, the longer it will take to end this lockdown.