EXCLUSIVE A community pharmacy in Scotland has delivered what is believed to be the UK’s first private Covid vaccination, ahead of the service’s planned launch date in April.

Dear Pharmacy & Travel Clinic was among a number of community pharmacies that received stock of the Pfizer’s private Covid mRNA vaccine earlier than expected, and so began delivering the service yesterday.

Mayhar Nickko-Amiry, superintendent pharmacist and owner of the Dears Pharmacy Group – which has branches across Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow – said that the group was ‘delighted’ to be the first provider in the UK to start privately vaccinating patients against Covid.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is now available in some pharmacies, costs patients around £75, while the Novavax vaccine, which is expected to become available from April, will cost patients around £50.

The group partners with service provider Pharmadoctor for its vaccination services, which also include travel vaccinations, chicken pox, hepatitis B and flu.

Pharmadoctor chief executive, Graham Thoms, said the company was ‘delighted to bring forward the opportunity for people to start receiving a private Covid vaccination’.

‘Since launching the service last month we have already received thousands of patient appointments for our partner pharmacies via our patient website; at times we are receiving a patient appointment booking every seven minutes,' he said.

‘Some of our partner pharmacies have already received over 120 patient appointment bookings from us for free once signed up to provide the Pharmadoctor service.’

Over 250 Pharmadoctor partner pharmacies have signed up to provide the private Covid vaccination since the option became available earlier this year.

The Pharmadoctor Covid vaccination package for pharmacies is currently half price until 31 March 2024.

Last month, a spokesperson for multiple Superdrug told The Pharmacist that it was in discussions with suppliers about ‘potentially’ offering a private Covid vaccination service ‘this year’; while a spokesperson for Boots told The Pharmacist that the multiple 'would like to offer private Covid vaccinations' and was 'looking into how this might be possible'.