The prime minister has recognised the work of pharmacists, saying that pharmacy teams are ‘heroes’ of the Covid vaccine rollout.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (8 December), Boris Johnson said that ‘pharmacists up and down the country’ were ‘amongst some of the heroes of the vaccine rollout’.
‘We have some 15,000 community pharmacies vaccinating people near where they live. I know the NHS are considering the need to support [people] by opening more clinics where there is need,’ he said.
In response to the prime minister’s comment, pharmacists called for more pharmacies to be involved in the rollout, and for pharmacies to be supported to do this.
Several ministers — including the prime minister — have received their Covid and flu vaccines at pharmacies this year while thanking pharmacists for their work over the pandemic and calling for people to get vaccinated.
Last month, NHS England increased the standard payment for Covid vaccines to £15 per vaccination, in an effort to incentivise pharmacies and GP practices to offer all boosters by January.
Standard Covid vaccines attract a payment of £15 until January, with an additional £5 payment for Sunday vaccinations when community pharmacies may not usually be open.
Meanwhile, eligibility for Covid boosters has been expanded to all over-18s in response to the Omicron variant.
Last week, Pfizer’s chief executive said it is likely that repeat doses of the Covid booster vaccine will be necessary to maintain a high level of protection among populations.
This came as the Government announced it had secured more than 100 million additional doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.