Pharmacies sites could be more involved in the spring Covid booster jab programme as PCN groups are ‘not expected’ to be the ‘primary delivery model’, according to NHS England.

In a letter to vaccine sites, it said that commissioners must ensure delivery of the programme – which is due to commence in ‘early April’ – does not impact on ‘core’ NHS services.

Over-75s, care home residents and over-12s who are immunosuppressed will receive an additional Covid booster jab from spring, following an announcement earlier this week.

NHS England’s letter, sent yesterday, said: ‘Unlike in earlier phases, PCN groupings are not expected to be the primary delivery model for this part of the programme.’

It did not mention to what extent pharmacies sites would be involved, however, pharmacies have taken a large role in the booster programme this winter.

In January, The Pharmacist reported that pharmacy-led vaccine sites across England have delivered one-third of all booster vaccines.

NHS England added that it would set out further details ‘shortly’.

The letter also said that commissioners should plan for a potential autumn booster campaign from September, with a ‘minimum scenario to offer vaccination to JCVI cohorts 1-6 and for a maximum scenario to include JCVI cohorts 1-9’.

It comes as NHS England last week said pharmacies will be expected to lead on the vaccine rollout for five-to-11-year-olds, in light of ongoing workforce pressures in general practice.

A version of this story first appeared on Pulse.