Knights Pharmacy is opening its first 24-hour Covid vaccine clinic at its Durham site as demand for the vaccine soars.

This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced over the weekend that all over 18s would be offered a booster Covid vaccination by the end of December.

Knights Pharmacy in Bishop Auckland, Durham, will launch the overnight vaccine service this weekend for over 24 hours between 8am on Saturday to 8pm on Sunday.

Night-time appointments will help to deliver a planned 1,500 vaccines over the 36 hours.

The pharmacy hopes by offering appointments throughout the night will improve accessibility to healthcare, hospitality and industry workers that otherwise may struggle to book a daytime vaccination.

Pete Horrocks, superintendent at Knights Pharmacy, told The Pharmacist today (15 December) that there has been ‘significant demand’ for the vaccine in recent days.

Earlier this week, 1,500 community pharmacies delivered 185,000 Covid booster vaccines in England.

He also said that all appointments for the vaccination service are already booked up — including the 500 which will run overnight.

‘We are now looking at increasing capacity further. It’s clear there is significant demand, and we are delighted to be in a position to offer this vital service from community pharmacy,’ he added.

Health bosses have already suggested that vaccine clinics may need to run 24/7 services to meet the new targets.

In a letter, sent to vaccine sites on Monday, NHS England and Improvement said that clinics should run ‘12 hours a day as standard, seven days a week.’

It added: ‘In every community, there should be slots available at least 16 hours a day. This should extend to 24-hour operations that are relevant for the local community.’

Pharmacy bodies have already encouraged the Government to urgently ‘accelerate plans’ to include pharmacy technicians on the list of healthcare professionals able to administer vaccinations under a patient group direction (PGD).

In an open letter, sent yesterday (13 December), the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK and the Company Chemists’ Association called on the health secretary Sajid Javid to allow pharmacy technicians to administer the booster vaccines in light of the Government’s new vaccine targets.