Surrey community pharmacy site is one of the first to join UK COVID-19 vaccination efforts

Surrey community pharmacy site is one of the first to join UK COVID-19 vaccination efforts

January 14, 2021

It has been announced that six pharmacies across the UK will start vaccinating people from priority groups today, with a further 200 up and running by the end of the month.

The premises, including one in Surrey,  have been chosen because they are able to deliver large numbers of vaccines quickly while allowing space for social distancing.

Spokesperson for Community Pharmacy Surrey and Sussex, Hinal Patel, said: “It is fantastic to see the first pharmacy sites going live today, especially the one in Surrey at Superdrug in Guildford, it goes some way to demonstrating that HM Government recognise community pharmacies have a role to play in the administering of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“However, the number of premises nationwide is still very small and we urge the Government to consider giving community pharmacy a larger role in the programme’s roll out, and continue to lobby local ministers and leaders to support this approach.”

The criteria on which pharmacies qualify is very strict and currently would not allow all pharmacies across Surrey and Sussex the opportunity to support vaccination delivery.

At present, pharmacies need to be able to deliver a minimum of 1,000 doses of vaccine over a seven-day period from each designated site, ensuring all vaccinations are administered within the appropriate shelf life.

Hinal Patel continues: “The strict qualifying criteria means that some premises across the county will be unsuitable for use. A relaxation of the rules however, for example reducing the minimum number of doses, would allow many more premises to take part.

“We know that many of our patients, particularly the elderly, would value the convenience and accessibility of local vaccination centres, and our experience in administering and delivering the flu jab year on year, makes clear our capability to be able to deliver at scale.

“We believe our network of community pharmacies across Surrey and Sussex could make a significant different to the vaccination efforts in the region and we will continue to press further to contribute to this critical programme of vaccination.”

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Story updated 19 January with revised headline and ‘more information’

More information

  • On 6 January 2021, the Telegraph ran a front-page article on pharmacy’s ask for a greater role in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The story dominated the day’s news. Read Press coverage – pharmacies and C-19 vaccination, which highlights how some of the national and local media reported the issue.
  • Over 50 community pharmacy teams across Sussex and Surrey expressed an interest in becoming a local vaccination site to the South East NHS England regional team. Our first pharmacy local vaccination service, Superdrug Pharmacy in Guildford,  launches today with another five being prepared and expected to be up-and-running before the end of January to help fill gaps in PCN provision at very local levels.
  • The staff team at Community Pharmacy Surrey and Sussex are supporting NHS E&I’s regional team in their work to help these six designated sites get up-and-running.
  • Contact  or Sandra Lamont on 07483 430420

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