Pharmacies selected to provide Covid-19 vaccinations will be paid £12.58 per jab, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) has announced.
In a letter sent to contractors and local pharmaceutical committees last week (27 November), the body said it will commission ‘selected’ community pharmacy sites – who are able to meet a set of specific requirements – to take part in the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The selected pharmacies will be paid £12.58 per vaccination or £25.16 if the vaccination requires two doses, with payment made on completion of the final dose.
NHSE&I said that the majority of pharmacies are unlikely to be able to meet the site requirements and they should ‘continue their very important role in flu vaccination, particularly of the new 50 to 64-year-old cohort.
‘Due to the likelihood of complex logistics in this new supply chain, there will be a limited number of sites commissioned to deliver high volumes of vaccines mostly at a separate site, for twelve-hour days, seven days a week,’ the letter said.
‘We expect to commission fewer community pharmacy sites than GP PCN led centres,’ it added.
Community pharmacies wishing to become a designated vaccination site must express their interest by 6 December.
1,000 doses minimum
NHSE&I said it was ‘critical’ that contractors are ready to administer vaccinations from late December or early January, but the exact date will be ‘dependent on individual vaccine licensing dates and manufacturers’ supply schedules’.
Pharmacists will need to deliver a minimum of 1,000 doses of vaccine over seven days from each designated site, ensuring all those vaccinations are administered within the appropriate shelf life, the letter said. They must also agree the volume of vaccines they will deliver each week with their local NHS coordination centre.
Community pharmacies can also get involved with the vaccination programme by collaborating with their local Primary Care Network to support maximum vaccine uptake via the GP Enhanced Service or with vaccination centres.
The news comes as three potential vaccines for Covid-19, from Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca, concluded their stage 3 trials and are now awaiting approval from regulatory bodies.