An independent community pharmacy in West Lancashire has partnered with a local university to set up a Covid vaccination site.

Aspire Pharmacy, part of the Alamaz group, will begin vaccinating eligible patients from the local population on the Edge Hill University campus in Ormskirk later this week (4 February).

Ali Dalal, superintendent pharmacist at Aspire Pharmacy, Ormskirk, said he was ‘delighted’ to be working with the university to help deliver the vaccine at a large scale.

‘Being able to use the University’s campus and the first-class facilities they have will allow us to offer more vaccines to those eligible in our community,’ he said.

‘This crucial service, along with the annual flu jab, and the many other services we provide, is community pharmacy at its best – serving our local community as we battle through the pandemic.’

He added: ‘We as pharmacists with our pharmacy teams have been open and accessible to the public since the start of the pandemic and are proud to demonstrate what we can achieve when given the opportunity. I hope we can be at the forefront of many other services for the NHS in the future and become a vital asset for the health care system.’

Steve Igoe, Edge Hill University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor spoke of the efforts from Edge Hill University’s staff and students who have helped to support NHS colleagues throughout the pandemic.

‘We have worked together with our partners and have risen to the challenges of Covid-19; from offering symptoms and no symptoms testing facilities on campus, to volunteering to support our local communities or leading research to increase our understanding of the virus and its impact,’ he said.

‘We will continue to listen to the needs of our community, and we’re proud to have been able to act quickly to support our pharmacy partners to provide them with the right sized facilities to administer the vaccine.

‘The delivery of these vaccines offers us some light at the end of the tunnel that one day soon we will be able to come together again with family, friends and colleagues.’

NHS England announced last week (28 January) that 117 pharmacy-led Covid vaccination sites are now up and running.