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More pharmacies being invited to become Covid vaccination sites

By Rachel Carter

16 Feb 2021

More pharmacies will be receiving an ‘expression of interest letter’ shortly around becoming a Covid vaccination site after the NHS broadened out the eligible cohorts.

This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday (14 February) that the NHS had met the national target of offering a vaccine to the first four priority cohorts by mid-February.

The Pharmacist understands that more pharmacies – on top of the existing 200 sites – are due to be commissioned.

Almost 200 pharmacy-led vaccination sites are already delivering vaccinations, having been selected by NHS England following an initial designation process in December.

At the time, NHS England said it only planned to commission a limited number of pharmacies as it did not expect most contractors to be able to meet the necessary requirements. The criteria pharmacies had to meet included being able to deliver over 1,000 jabs a week.

Vaccinating cohort five

The existing pharmacy sites are due to start vaccinating patients aged 65 to 69 from this week, as the vaccination programme shifts into its next phase.

In a letter to local sites (13 February), NHS England said PCN sites should ‘focus their efforts’ on inviting people in priority cohort six, while cohort five patients ‘will shortly start receiving an invitation from the national booking service’ to attend a pharmacy or mass vaccination centre.

NHS England also advised that ‘in some cases’ pharmacies may be asked to deliver vaccinations for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems, and for the homeless, ‘where it would not be possible for these patients to attend vaccination sites’.

More to follow…

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