An extra 1,000 community pharmacies in England will be signed up to deliver the Covid booster vaccine ahead of September, NHS England has announced. 

In guidance sent today (1 July) to primary care stakeholders, including community pharmacies, NHSE confirmed that it will begin rolling out phase three of its Covid vaccination campaign from 6 September. It should run until 17 December. 

The guidance said its expansion to more than 2.5 times the current number of pharmacy Covid-19 vaccine sites was in recognition of the sector’s contribution to phases 1 and 2. 

Pharmacies will need the capacity to deliver 3.5 million vaccinations a week over the booster period.  

The additional community pharmacy vaccination sites will be ‘onboarded’ in the next few months, and will ‘provide reach to underserved communities, increase weekend and evening vaccination capacity, and ease workforce pressures across primary care teams,’ the body said.  

NHSE will encourage flexible co-administration of the booster programme and said that would involve ‘adding additional [community pharmacy] sites that can deliver flu vaccination to the Covid-19 vaccine supply network’.  

Pharmacies that submit a vaccine site application will receive confirmation from mid to late July. A pharmacy service specifications will also be published later this month.  

More to follow…