Over 300,000 Covid vaccines have been delivered from community pharmacy-led vaccine sites in Wales, despite the Government continuing to focus most of its vaccine efforts through mass vaccination centres.

Only 70 of the 716 community pharmacies in Wales have been commissioned by local health boards to provide Covid vaccines to local populations, administering over 300,000 vaccinations, a Welsh Government spokesperson said.

Commenting on the recent figure from the Welsh Government, Russell Goodway, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW), said: ‘CPW signalled the willingness of the community pharmacy network to participate in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines as soon as the vaccines became available.

‘Welsh Government decided to focus the delivery of the vaccines from its mass vaccination centres and Wales has seen one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world.'

Mr Goodway added: ‘Community pharmacy has stepped in to deliver the vaccines to ensure hard to reach individuals have been able to get the vaccines closer to home. Community pharmacy remains committed to contributing to the programme that Government and Health Boards feel we can best deliver.’

As it stands, over 5 million Covid vaccines have been delivered in Wales, with over 71% of the population now vaccinated.

It is still unclear how much involvement community pharmacy will have in the booster programme, which began in September.

However, Mr Goodway told The Pharmacist that he believed ‘the focus will continue to be on MVCs’.

‘I am aware of a couple of pharmacies that are already delivering the booster vaccines,’ he added.

In some of the other UK nations, pharmacies have a bigger role in the Covid vaccine programme.

NHS England has said that community pharmacies in England will be expected to deliver 3.5 million vaccines per week over the booster period as vaccine centres begin to close.

Similarly, in Northern Ireland, the Covid vaccine booster programme will be delivered mostly through community pharmacies and GP surgeries.

The Scottish Government has also been approached for comment.